Every team’s goal is to make the postseason and compete for a national championship.
That is something that Ferris women’s basketball has not achieved in a while.
The Dawgs last appeared in the NCAA Division II tournament in 2012. A second-round loss forced the No. 2 overall seeded Bulldogs to exit earlier than anticipated.
This season is a different story for the Bulldogs. With a 15-6 overall record and current second place standing in the GLIAC North Division, they appear well on the way to their first tournament bid in eight years.
Since the 2012 tournament appearance, Ferris struggled to a 60- 100 overall record, excluding the 2019-2020 season. Ferris women’s basketball head coach Kendra Faustin credited her seniors with helping to flip the team’s fortunes this season.
“This group of seniors has done unbelievable things for our program and the growth of our program,” Faustin said. “Number one is just culture. Our group is so welcoming that it’s allowed our freshman to really blossom. No one feels threatened, they’re good teammates to play with and don’t care what year you are.”
The Bulldogs had a seven-game winning streak heading into their Thursday, Jan. 30, matchup with Ashland University. The Eagles snapped that win streak with a convincing victory over the Bulldogs 105- 74. Ferris bounced back on Saturday, Feb. 1, with an overtime victory over Wayne State University 86-85 and are now 8-2 in their last 10 games.
The Bulldogs have four seniors on their roster who have worked tirelessly throughout their careers and just the thought of making the tournament put a smile on Ferris senior guard Renee Sturm’s face.
“It would be pretty special,” Sturm said. “It would start the underclassmen with a good taste of how it feels to be successful as a program so that they can carry on with what a lot of upperclassmen have worked really hard to start.”
At this point in the season, it would be easy for the Bulldogs to start focusing on a tournament bid, but Sturm understood the necessity of staying grounded in the moment.
In order to finish the season strong and earn a spot in the tourney, Faustin emphasized that her team must continue doing what they have done this past month.
“We gotta get a couple people healthy before the end of the season,” Faustin said. “We’re in a pretty good routine right now: rest, recovery, shots, scout, and rinse and repeat. It’s about staying focused and hungry. It’s about continuing to be in the moment and have fun with each other.”
The Bulldog’s quest for a postseason appearance will continue at home on Thursday, Feb. 6, against Saginaw Valley State University.