The Ferris women’s basketball team is more than just a basketball team; it’s a family.
The Bulldogs finished their regular season on Thursday, Feb. 27, with a 71-65 victory over Lake Superior State University at Jim Wink Arena, and wound up with an impressive 20-7 season record. After the game concluded, each Bulldog cut the net in an emotional tribute to their successful season.
Ferris women’s basketball head coach Kendra Faustin was all smiles as she watched her team enjoy the success they earned this season. She stressed that the Bulldogs are like a family.
“I can’t put into words how much this team means to me,” Faustin said. “When we say we spend a lot of time together, I mean we spend 40 hours a week together. They’re a part of my life.”
Despite all the glory, things were not always easy for Ferris. They battled injuries all year and dealt with off-the-court issues early in the season. However, nothing deterred the Bulldogs from achieving their goals.
“I think our unofficial motto is ‘just figure it out,’” Faustin said. “When something happens off the court, we figure it out — we talk about it, we’re proactive about it, we address conflict right away, we have hard conversations. With injuries, it’s the next person up, somebody stepping up and doing something big every night.”
The Bulldogs battled adversity all year and have come a long way from where they stood five years ago. Back-to-back 5-22 seasons was not where Faustin wanted to start her Bulldog career in 2015-2016, but her team continued to fight each year, and their hard work paid off.
“When we were losing a lot, we didn’t allow losing to define us, but it is hard because they wanted to win,” Faustin emotionally said as she reminisced and fought through tears. “What I’m probably most excited that our group sees is that if you want something, you keep going to go get it. You think that path is a straight line, or maybe it’s a little hilly, but it’s actually like canyons and mountains and there’s no reason to not keep going.”
The players established a bond that brought them close together this year. For junior guard Adrienne Anderson, this was very important.
“These are lifelong friends,” Anderson said. “One of my goals this year was to have deeper relationships, not just surface level, and we definitely accomplished that.”
With the regular season finished, Ferris will now turn to the GLIAC tournament beginning Tuesday, March 3, against Wayne State University. The Bulldogs split the season series with the Warriors.
Anderson stressed that the success of her team to this point was not enough and that they have more to prove.
“We’re still not satisfied,” Anderson said. “From the coaching staff down to the players. We’re happy that we’ve done as well as we have but we’re still not satisfied.”
Anderson and the Bulldogs are currently the sixth seed in the Midwest regional rankings. At the conclusion of the conference tournaments, the top eight teams from the region will earn an automatic bid in the NCAA Division II tournament.
Official selections into the tournament will be revealed on Sunday, March 8. Until then, Ferris will look to improve their seeding by playing well in the GLIAC tournament.