Jeske, Mondek now leaders

By David Lance

When in a pinch last season, the NIU women’s basketball team would lean on the talents of senior guards Lisa Foss, Denise Dove and Toby Meeks.

Those three were the leaders of the Huskies, and head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle has already said she won’t try to replace them.

This year’s team has two seniors, guard Dee Dee Jeske and forward Tracy Mondek, and their roles will be expanded from last year’s.

“I think Dee Dee and Tracy will definitely be leaders for us,” Albright-Dieterle said. “Neither one of them are extremely verbal people, but I think they lead by example.”

Last season, Jeske averaged seven points and three rebounds a game as a part-time starter. Her game consisted of scrapping for points, tussling for rebounds and, generally, making a nuisance of herself to the opposition.

“It was more of a hustling role,” Jeske said. “If you work hard, everything will fall in place for you. At times I was up, but other times, when we started losing at the end (of the season), I was kind of down. I need to stay up.”

Mondek, too, was an occasional starter, as she averaged four points and almost five rebounds.

“I didn’t have as good a year as I wanted to,” Mondek said. “I wanted to be a better rebounder and scorer last year than I was.”

Albright-Dieterle said Mondek played well.

“I think (Mondek) had a whole lot of good moments,” Albright-Dieterle said. “At times, she was the best post player we had on the court. What we need her to do this year is really work on her consistency.

“Tracy is one who always comes to practice, works hard. She does the little things right. I think for us to be a great team this year we’re going to need to depend on her for some scoring. Not like 26 points a game, but consistency in scoring.

“I think Dee Dee’s role on this team is blue collar … to come up with the easy basket and work a little bit harder than everybody else,” Albright-Dieterle said. “I think her personality is very upbeat.”

Jeske is upbeat about this year’s outlook, and so is Mondek.

“I’ve waited for my senior year, and I’m ready,” Jeske said. “Even though we’re young, there’s a lot of talent. I think we’re quick. I think we can use that quickness to win a lot of games.”

“I can’t wait (for the season to begin),” Mondek said. “I’m just so excited about everything. We have such a tough schedule. We have so much talent this year that I think we can win a lot of those games.”