Briar Cliff women relishing underdog role heading into January

Sports

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – When you hire a brand new, first time coach, the expectations are usually pretty low. Not as a slight against the coach, but purely, because there is no track record to base it on.

At Briar Cliff, that was the case for first year head coach Brita Hand, as she inherited a talented, albeit young, roster for her first year at the Cliff. The Chargers finished with only 11 wins in 2019-20, but Hand has the team at nine entering the new year. A pretty big jump.

The question now is consistency. Sure, Briar Cliff could have been able to catch teams off guard early, not knowing what Hand would scheme up for them. But now, from the outside looking in, the Chargers are squarely on the radar of ever GPAC school, as they currently sit third in the standings at 7-3 in GPAC play. The key part of that, however, is that that reaction is from the outside. As Hand prepares for the final stretch of the regular season with nothing but conference games ahead, she likes having her team work as underdogs. And why not? The Chargers are right in the thick of the GPAC race, only 1.5 games ahead of seventh place, and two games out of first. There’s no room for any sort of slip up.

Hand is well aware of the task ahead, keeping her team, with players who have never experienced this level of winning in their collegiate careers, on the right track. They got to where they are as of January 1st by embracing their underdog status, so until they become the league’s top team, with a GPAC title to go with it, why not enjoy being an underdog, and spoil other’s parties?

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