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Charger women’s title chase begins in Kentucky


The Hillsdale College women's basketball team won a GLIAC Tournament championship title last weekend. Now their sites are set on loftier feats — such as an NCAA title. Photo courtesy of Brad Monastiere, Hillsdale College.

The Hillsdale College women's basketball team won a GLIAC Tournament championship title last weekend. Now their sites are set on loftier feats — such as an NCAA title. Photo courtesy of Brad Monastiere, Hillsdale College.

By RJ Walters / Daily News Sports Editor

As published in the Hillsdale Daily News on March 9, 2009

The 2008-09 Hillsdale College women’s basketball team has accomplished an amazing amount of mind-blowing achievements this season, but this Char-gers team will ultimately be remembered by what happens starting now.

The Chargers are officially “dancing”, making their third NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and second in a row — this time as a 2-seed.

It was announced Sunday evening that the Chargers will soon be headed to Highland Heights, Ky., home of the Midwest Region’s top-seed, and defending national champion, Northern Kentucky.

On Friday the Chargers will start their drive toward a national title with a game against the region’s 7-seed, the University of Indianapolis.

The Greyhounds went 20-10 this season as a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, but won just six of their final 13 games in the rough-and-tumble conference that features Northern Kentucky, as well as the Midwest Region’s 3-seed and 6-seed, Quincy (Ill.) and Drury.

Oddly enough the Chargers and Greyhounds already have a little history, having played each other early on this season.

Hillsdale downed Indianapolis 77-63 in Indianapolis in November. Charger senior Katie Cezat tallied 29 points and 14 boards in that contest and Hillsdale shot better than 55 percent from the field as a team.

Indianapolis is led by sophomore forward Samantha Meissel who averaged 18.5 points and 4.5 rebounds this season. Junior guard Jessica Canary scored 14.0 points a game for the Greyhounds, while making two 3-pointers a game.

If the Chargers can get by them, the road to a regional championship becomes considerably tougher.

They will play the winner of the 3-6 match-up between Quincy (Ill.) (25-4) and Drury (18-9).

Quincy is the team who put an end to Hillsdale’s season in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament last via an 82-73 win.

On the other side of the bracket, the top-seeded Norse face GLIAC power Grand Valley State and GLIAC foes Michigan Tech and Northwood will butt heads in the 4-5 showdown.

The Norse have made it to the national tournament 18 times in their storied history and Grand Valley State won a national championship in 2006.

For the Chargers to be fully recognized as one of the nation’s best they will undoubtedly have to beat some of the country’s elite programs.

But their conference opponents know them well and have plenty of experience preparing to go up against Claudette Charney’s squad.

The Chargers took down Michigan Tech Saturday to win the GLIAC Tournament championship, but they split with the Huskies in the regular season.

The GVSU Lakers also stole one from the Chargers earlier this year, while it twice took overtime for Hillsdale to get by Northwood.

Look in the HDN later this week for more game details and what to watch for when the D-II tourney begins.

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About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.

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