Briar Cliff women put in final preparations before NAIA Round of 16

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:10 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The NAIA National Tournament Round of 16 for women’s basketball is officially underway down at the Tyson Events Center, and two Siouxland teams will be jumping into action on Tuesday to continue their quest for a National Championship.

The Briar Cliff women are making their 15th appearance at the national tournament and their second consecutive appearance. The Chargers have advanced to the Final Four five times, most recently in the 2014-15 season. Additionally, the Chargers current mark of 26 wins is the most since that Final Four team during the 2014-15 season.

Briar Cliff is riding off a nine-game win streak and have been battled tested in the GPAC conference. The team is hoping to keep their run alive and accomplish a goal they set at the very start of the season.

“This is one of the biggest goals that this team set. You know, we had a list of about 10 goals at the start of the year. We’ve got nine of them checked off, so this is the last one. I know the girls are locked in. Their focus is where it needs to be, and you know now we’ve got to go show up on Tuesday and compete and play our best basketball,” said Brian Ortmeier, Briar Cliff women’s basketball head coach.

Coach Ortmeier says his group can be dangerous in the tournament as they are an experienced group of veterans who have shown that mental toughness in close games. Their mindset is to keep focusing on that next play.

“I think our biggest thing is just focusing on the next play. Like mistakes are going to happen, and I think it helps that all of us are a lot older now. And we have a lot of experience on this team which will help with that,” said Payton Slaughter, Briar Cliff senior guard.

The Chargers earned the four seed and will face No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City.