At this time last year, the Ripon College women’s basketball team was coming off its worst season (2-21 overall) in program history and wasn’t expected to do much again in the Midwest Conference.

What a difference a year makes.

Fresh off recording the biggest turnaround the Midwest Conference has seen in the last 10 years, expectations are higher for the Red Hawks.

But that’s what happens when a team wins 12 more games than the season prior and makes the conference tournament for the first time in six years.

Now, entering the 2016-17 season, the Red Hawks are picked to finish third in the conference in the preseason coaches poll and return to the tournament for a second-straight season.

“Last year, our players found out they can win and they can make the conference tournament,” said Ripon head coach Lauren Johnson, who is beginning her fourth year at the helm. “We began that season hoping to do well. This year, we expect to do well.”

One of the reasons the Red Hawks have high hopes for the upcoming season is they return almost their entire team.

The only player they lost to graduation was Miranda Gunderson, who played limited minutes.

Read the full story, which includes information on an area the Red Hawks hope to improve, in the Nov. 17, 2016 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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