OU athletics have improved over time, some sports still catching up
Published: Monday, November 12, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 12, 2012 13:11
Oh, how far we can go in four years.
Since the 2009-2010 school year, athletics at Ottawa University have grown in a big way.
The football team has made a run of four consecutive playoff berths, as well as three KCAC championships.
Before that, they had barely won any conference titles since the 70s.
The volleyball team struggled heavily in 2007 and 2008, and with the hire of Tom Symon, things slowly changed.
Going 14-21 in 2009 turned into an 18-9 2010. After a disappointing 15-16 record in 2011, everything has come together with this senior class, going 28-5 with an undefeated conference record.
Even men’s and women’s soccer have been competitive, especially in conference play. The Lady Braves also made a couple of playoff appearances.
The only team sports that have struggled consistently over these seasons have been the basketball teams, but that may change soon.
This year neither team started out winning games, but that shouldn’t stop them going forward.
In their first game the Lady Braves played the College of the Ozarks, the no. 3 ranked NAIA Division II team in the nation.
The 36-69 loss may have looked bad in hindsight, but after an overtime win at Hannibal-LaGrange College and a six-point road loss at 15th ranked NAIA Division I MidAmerica Nazarene, things look more and more positive for conference play.
Junior Amber Ramsey, a pre-season all conference pick, is averaging 15 points and five rebounds a game, improving already over a solid sophomore season.
The men’s team opened with two NCAA opponents in Oklahoma State and UMKC, two games they weren’t expected to win, but they would definitely show how the Braves would compete.
What could be drawn from those early exhibition games is that competition from within the conference can’t get better than what the team has already seen.
The first game that counted was a 90-80 loss against a nationally ranked MidAmerica.
The player most improved so far this year by far has to be point guard Zach Brown.
The sophomore came up big against MidAmerica, scoring 16 points and dishing a team-high four assists, while playing 31 minutes.
While Adam Hasty has missed time recovering from his ACL surgery, Brown has played the majority of the minutes, coming up in a big way.
The season’s long though, and many things are still going to have to get better for both teams before they can make runs at the conference title.