Women’s basketball says goodbye to five seniors

By Quentin Wilson

DeKALB — Women’s basketball will say goodbye to five seniors after seeing their season ended in the first round of the Mid-American Tournament.

“This group is special,” Head Coach Lisa Carlsen said. “Many are a part of that first recruiting class, a huge foundation for what we build.”

The Huskies will lose both longtime starting guards Myia Starks and Courtney Woods. Starks has started all games for the past two years, known mainly for her defense; she averaged almost two steals per game in her career.

Woods has had a very successful scoring career at NIU, surpassing 2,000 career points to finish second in school history behind Lisa Foss this season.

“You don’t get a chance to very often coach a 2,000 point scorer,” Carlsen said. “It’s pretty special seeing what she did for the market.”

The Huskies will also lose three forwards: Ally May, Abby Woollacott and Ninni Salmi.

Salmi and Wollacott were viable rotation pieces, giving NIU quality minutes off the bench. Salmi, who transfered to NIU in 2018, has started 10 games this season.

May became a full-time starter during the 2018-19 season, during which she led the team in rebounds per game with 8.6. This season May averaged 12 minutes per game while playing big minutes in the latter part of the season.

Carlsen said she will miss this group commitment and leadership to the program. She also states how the next year squad will have some big shoes to fill.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, Carlsen says the team will have to get creative to find new players for the new year.

“[The virus] doesn’t stop us from trying to find the kids that are the right fit for the program,” Carlsen said.

Currently, NIU is losing some of its post players, costing them size down low, but Carlsen assures the team will find the necessary pieces to stay competitive, even when filling positions, she reminds us how it’s all about finding the best fit for the program.