Templin leads women’s hoops

By Jordan Murray

Sports Editor

Dani Templin has been through plenty of ups and downs in her ca­reer with the Viterbo women’s bas­ketball team. The six-foot junior from Richland Center, Wis. led the team in scoring in both her fresh­man and sophomore seasons, but the team was young and struggled in conference play.

While Templin still leads the team in points and rebounds, the V-Hawks have shown great im­provement as a team in conference play this season. A win over eighth-ranked Mount Mercy University on Jan. 21 put the V-Hawks square in the middle of the conference title chase with a league record of 7-2. A rough stretch left Viterbo with an 8-7 Midwest Collegiate Conference mark at press time, however.

A brutal nonconference schedule helped prepare Viterbo for the con­ference slate. Several ranked foes along with Division I and II op­ponents made for a steep learning curve for the V-Hawks. Templin, for one, is a proponent of the tough schedule.

“I think it was good for us. Our team was more prepared for the challenge of conference play, and that’s what matters most. It showed us where we needed to be as a team, especially defensively.

Templin was part of a highly touted freshman class that has taken their fair share of lumps over the past two seasons. When asked how the group, now juniors, has grown with each other, Templin responded,

“Basketball’s a long season, and we spend 2-4 hours a night together at practice. We hold each other ac­countable for our effort and have a high level of trust in each other. Our commitment to the program is very strong.”

Coach Bobbi Vandenberg, now in her 19th season coaching Viterbo women’s basketball, has seen the roster grow from just seven players in the 2008-2009 season into a deep, talented group this year. Templin calls Vandenberg “the most pas­sionate coach I’ve ever had as far as preparedness. She pushes us aca­demically as well. She has very high expectations, and she’s changed her approach as we’ve grown from freshmen over the last couple of years. She’s more demanding now.”

Scoring 1,000 career points is a ca­reer landmark that not many play­ers reach. Templin surpassed that mark in December 2011, putting her on track to be one of the top scor­ers in Viterbo history. Templin says her only personal goals are game-to-game, but does admit that being an All-American is something she wants to work towards.

The future looks bright for Tem­plin and the V-Hawks. Despite their recent swoon, the team is in position for a run at a top-three finish in the MCC. With a rotation that includes senior guards Brooke Anderson and Paige Babiash, as well as a deep ju­nior class and freshman sharpshoot­er Jenna Engh, they have the depth to do so—and finally the experience as well.

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