Injury plagued Falcons host Northern Illinois


Abby Siefker is the most recent women’s basketball player to have a season ending injury, leaving the Falcons with eight active players.

Aaron Parker and Aaron Parker

The Bowling Green Women’s Basketball team will return home to the Stroh Center on Wednesday to play Northern Illinois with a roster plagued by injuries.

Redshirt junior Erica Donovan, sophomore Abby Siefker and freshman Lauren Webb have all suffered season-ending injuries. In addition, senior Jasmine Matthews is listed as day-to-day and redshirt freshman Leah Bolton is in the process of ending her career through NCAA medical retirement.

That leaves the Falcons without three starters, 50 percent of their scoring and 66 percent of their rebounding.

Through eight games, Donovan was leading the team in points with 15.3 points per game and boards with 9.1 rebounds per game. That is five points and four rebounds ahead of the next active leading player.

Siefker was second on the team in rebounding with 6.3, averaged 5.4 points per game, and was the leading shot blocker through 12 games.

The team is now left with two seniors [one of whom has not played a game yet], a junior, one redshirt freshman and three true freshmen.

“With that said, we have been in every conference game that we’ve played so far,” said head coach Jennifer Roos. “Game planning has now become even more critical, and knowing every kid and every play that the opponent throws at us. We’ve added now a new offensive and defensive system because there’s opportunities for our kids to play a five guard line-up, a four guard line-up with one post, and we’ve added Erica Fullenkamp who can play the post for us.”

Fullenkamp is a 5-foot-10 senior who recently played through her eligibility with the volleyball team. She has participated in practice with the team since Jan. 8 but has not played a game yet.

“She’s a very natural born leader so she brings that leadership to our team,” said senior guard Deborah Hoekstra. “She brings an intensity to practice and I think she’s been doing a really great job.”

Besides Fullenkamp, Hoekstra is the only other senior going into the game against NIU and is now the leading scorer with Donovan out.

“I think now leadership changes more than ever,” Hoekstra said. “I feel like Miriam [Justinger] and I can’t just worry about ourselves anymore. My time here, last year and the beginning of this year, I was a role player. You could kick it out to me and I’d knock down the shot but not so much anymore. I have to worry more about creating for others.”

The Falcons have lost five straight games going into the game against NIU, three of which were conference contests.

“Personally my goal has always been to take it one game at a time,” Justinger said. “We just have to keep communicating on and off the floor and keep working hard. It’s still early in the season.”

NIU has allowed 54.1 points per game but have struggled on offense, scoring only 53.2.

“Kathi Bennett is a great coach. They are very defensive oriented,” Roos said. “They are scoring low and holding teams very low, so if we can score from low-50s to mid-50s I think we can be successful.”