Falcons undefeated in conference play as head coach receives coach of the year


Adam Sydow

Falcons No. 10 Camryn Garriety and No. 21 Cassidy Williams defend offensive possession.

Joseph Schulz, Regional News Editor

The UW-Fond du Lac women’s basketball team was undefeated in conference play during the regular season, leading to first-year head coach Jenna Johnson being named Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.

Sophomore Cassidy Williams and freshman Hailey Rusch earned first team all-conference honors while sophomore Hannah Preissner earned second team all-conference honors.

The Falcons fell to UW-Marathon County in the championship game after being regular season conference champions.

Johnson said the bond between her players is what made this team special.

“From the beginning we had a group chat going with each other,” Johnson said. “They have a Snapchat going. It’s just constant communication. When we get up in the morning, it would be like all of them greeting each other.”

Johnson said she was humbled when she won the WCC Coach of the Year award and is glad to be recognized for her hard work.

“I think it was moreso an award for the girls and my assistant as well,” Johnson said. “My assistant is an absolute blessing to me.”

UWFDL athletic director Jeremiah Hoffmann said he’s known coach Johnson since she was an assistant coach at Fond du Lac high school.

“She’s very knowledgeable and knows what she’s talking about with basketball,” Hoffman said. “She relates very well with the players, and she gets them to play hard for her.”

Hoffman said seeing the day-to-day interaction between the players and the enthusiasm from the coaches has been the most memorable part of the season.

“It’s just an overall feeling that we’re headed in the right direction with our program,” Hoffman said.

UWFDL point guard Kelsey Margelofsky said this season taught her that hard work pays off.

“You can do so much with a smaller team as long as everyone believes in themselves and each other,” Margelofsky said.

UWFDL guard Gretchen Puls said the passion the team had for the game and the camaraderie between the players is what sets this team apart from teams in the past.

“We always supported each other and kept each other going no matter how difficult it got,” Puls said.

Williams said the basketball knowledge the team had made their game more advanced.

“The versatility of all our players was huge, and the connection we had allowed us to communicate well on the court,” Williams said.

Williams said winning the conference meant the world to not only her, but the whole team.

“[All of] that sacrificed time and effort over the years of playing the sport and this season,” Williams said. “It was a great accomplishment.”

Puls said the playoffs were her favorite part of the season, and even though they didn’t win, it all it was an experience she will never forget.

“I think we could all agree, winning state would’ve been a better ending to the season,” Puls said. “But I can’t imagine having a better group of girls to spend my last season with. I am also lucky to have such an amazing coach. Jenna is by far the best coach I’ve ever had the privilege of having.”