SAU Buzz

Queen Bees fall short at national tournament

by Luke Maiers
Posted on Mar 31, 2016

Only 32 women’s basketball teams are selected every year, and for the second time in three years, the Queen Bees found themselves in the bracket.

After going 20-8 in the regular season, the Queen Bees took on the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference for the first time. By the end of the year, they found themselves in the championship game. In the CCAC Tournament the women took down No. 11 Cardinal Stritch and then No. 4 St. Francis to advance to the championship game. They dropped that game at No. 7 Olivet Nazarene in a shootout, but by that time the Queen Bees had already locked themselves into the tournament.

The Queen Bees found out who they would play in the National Tournament two days later,  as their opponent was the Briar Cliff University Chargers who have never lost in the first round at Nationals.

“It was a tough draw,” Head Women’s Basketball Coach Krista Van Hauen said. “The home crowd always helps them succeed.”

With the GPAC schools being in the Sioux City area, it gives the teams that make the tournament almost like a home court advantage, Van Hauen added.

The Queen Bees opened their tournament on March 10, and the Bees struggled on the offense and defense ends. The Bees dropped their only game in the tournament by a score of 75-63.

“Their defense rattled our offensive flow and got us out of our rhythm,” Van Hauen said. “Briar Cliff played a great game and they made big shots.”

The Queen Bees have taken part in the tournament a few times, but there were some newcomers to the team who have never played on a stage this big.

“Every time is different,” Van Hauen said. “I thought our kids were more relaxed and not in awe of the bright lights on the big stage.”

Most times when teams go one-and-done at tournaments, the chemistry on the team can be mixed up and people can get frustrated. But Van Hauen was very happy the way the Queen Bees composed themselves.

“Back in December when we were sitting at 4-5 on the season, they could have chosen a different path,”  Van Hauen said. “But they decided to come together and turn the season around by going 18-5 to end the year.”

Van Hauen continued to add that she would not trade this team for anything.

A big part to the chemistry being so strong on this team is the senior leadership.

“I have enjoyed being a bee,” Senior Lauren Brummel said. “I have created so many friendships through basketball. These girls are like family to me.”

The bond that these girls have, help create a chemistry on and off the court.

“We have each other’s back and we always support one another in everything we do,” Brummel said.

According to Brummel, being a Queen Bee can lead to memories that you will never forget, and connections that can last well after college has ended.

“The trip to Seattle this year was my favorite memory,” Brummel said. “What’s better than vacationing and playing basketball with all of your best friends?”

The senior has been to the tournament twice in their time here, so losing them could be damaging to the team. But according to Brummel, she is not concerned about the Queen Bees future.

“Those girls have some major talent and should have no problem taking the Queen Bees back to Nationals,” Brummel said. “I have no doubt that they will create something big in the years to come.”

If a trip to the National Tournament wasn’t a good enough way to end your career at St. Ambrose, then Sydney Greiner added a little more.

On March 16, the NAIA All-American teams were announced and Sydney Greiner was an honorable mention for the team.

“I am extremely honored, but I owe everything to my coaches and teammates,” Greiner said. “Without them I would not have become the player I am today.”

The Queen Bees started the season a little slow with a record of 4-5, but as the year progressed the team won 12 of 13 games and found themselves in the National Tournament. Coming up a little shy of their goal, the Queen Bees will be back at it next year.