The Notre Dame Lady Titans have done it again: for the second year in a row and the fourth time in five years they have won the SOC I title. This time, though, they ran the table going undefeated in league play after a win over the East Lady Tartans on Thursday night.
Notre Dame officially won the championship January 21st against the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings but made it a team goal to go undefeated throughout the conference. Head Coach JD McKenzie is incredibly proud of his Lady Titans.
“Every title means a lot,” said McKenzie. “It’s special to be able to send your seniors out with a conference championship. Last year we did it with a 12-2 record. This year our goal was to win it, but once we did that we wanted to finish it undefeated.
“We want to go on and finish with a win at Piketon Saturday. From there, we hope to go out and win the sectional title. After we win the title we can start talking about goals afterwards. We really want that sectional title and then to make a deep run. I’m just so proud of these girls. At the start of the year we didn’t quite know where we were at, we were up and down but we fought through adversity. We had some tough games that could have went either way but they really fought for them. I hate losing our two seniors, Audri Graf and Ragen Kayser, but I am excited to send them out with the SOC championship.”
The Lady Titans finish conference play with a record of 14-0 and an overall record of 19-2. Team leaders Audri Graf, Ragen Kayser, and junior Hagen Schaefer echo coach McKenzie’s goals of making a deep run in the post season.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” said Kayser. “Especially being a senior and having the opportunity to have three SOC championships now. I’m very proud of my team and everyone we’ve worked with this year.”
“It’s an honor really,” said Schaefer. “Especially when you have such a great team that can work the ball around and play great team ball. Coach McKenzie is like a second dad to all of us. Anytime we have a problem he is always there for us. He’s always encouraging us.”
“It’s really special considering it’s my senior year,” said Graf. “Not many people graduate saying they won three conference championships. Our team is such a close knit family. I couldn’t imagine playing with any other girls out there. Coach McKenzie doesn’t just have two kids, he’s got 15.”
All three girls are in agreement: they want to go as far as they can in the postseason. They want to keep building the Notre Dame Lady Titans basketball program. Four out of five SOC championships won’t keep them satisfied for long.
Reach Derrick Parker at [email protected] or on twitter @DC__Parker