The Cyclones return just two of its top eight players off last year’s team. Kelli Fischer takes over the program after being an assistant coach the past two years.
“The learning capacity of this group is fantastic,” Fischer said. “They have caught on so quickly. They are doing everything we asked them to do. There is a lot of learning to do because we graduated so many seniors last year.”
There will be a lot of learning with the young and new players, plus Fischer is playing a different system.
“We have to get the system installed,” Fischer said. “We are so young. It is a learning process.”
Fischer is familiar with all the players, having coached the returners at the junior varsity level and is the mother of the only returning starter Corie Fischer.
“They know what my expectations are,” Fischer said. “They are high. We need to be competitive in every game. The intensity level needs to be the same.”
Early on Fischer has divided the practices to give the players more hands-on instruction. She said the varsity practices together and the junior varsity and freshmen have their own practice.
Starting point guard Corie Fischer will have a big role this season.
“Corie has to be a leader,” Fischer said. “She is going to have to take this team to the next level.”
Junior Brette Moore will step into a starter’s role this season.
“She is the most athletic five-man in the league,” Fischer said. “She can run. She can jump. We have to work on her mental toughness. She needs to play 32 minutes. She can’t foul out.”
Seniors Brianna Pfizenmaier and Maddy Lancaster will play more significant roles this season. Fischer said Pfizenmaier is a tough-nosed player and will provide Ottawa with some competitive fire.
Junior Kylie Foster expects to add scoring and defense to the frontline.
“She is an athlete,” Fischer said of the three-sport athlete. “She has to help take the brunt off Brette. Corie, Brette and Kylie have played together since they have been in fourth grade.”
Senior MyKenna Hadl will give Ottawa depth on the frontline.
“We don’t have a lot of depth,” Fischer said.
Freshman Angel Natt will be a contributor at the varsity level.
“We are making little changes with her,” Fischer said. “I am so excited about the way she is going to play.”
Ottawa opens the season Friday at home against St. James.