Young Chatham Cougars find success behind winning coach


Women’s basketball head coach David Saur claps during a game. Photo Credit: Lauren Haak/ Chatham Athletics

Dylan Vogel

Chatham University’s women’s basketball team was given a lot of questions going into this season – the biggest being how it would perform with no juniors and seniors on the roster. The team has compiled a 17-7 record and has been playing some of the best basketball in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC). Led by head coach David Saur, the team is looking to make some noise in its postseason.

Saur has recently become the winningest coach in Chatham women’s basketball and has broken the record for the most in-conference wins in Chatham’s history. He credited his success to the players and their talents and leadership roles that they have stepped into, along with his background with coaches he’s been able to work with.

“I have worked with a lot of really good people and have been given a lot of really good opportunities to get different experiences. I did not know what it was like to be a head coach until I actually sat in the chair and did,” Saur said.

Saur pointed out some of the key players on the team that have stepped up to make the program a success, including past players’ work that have molded the program into what it has become and some of the current players who have continued to push it in the right direction.

Saur mentioned how the sophomores have taken on a huge leadership role. He recognized Emily Durkee, Aurielle Brunner, Zelimar Rodriguez and Keegan McConhay as players who have stepped up into leadership roles this year and set the tone early. Other players have received awards for their efforts, including Ashlie Louden ‘25 who was awarded PAC player of the week on Feb. 13.

“There is a desire to be really good and an obsession to be a perfectionist and a tremendous player and that goes into practice habits every day,” Saur mentioned regarding his players striving for awards and wins. “There are also unseen hours that are put in, especially at this level.”

Saur spoke specifically on two players, Louden and Alyssa Laukus ‘26, and their commitment and dedication to being their best.

“I think that a lot of our success is because we put in extra work. We are in the gym a lot, and we have two or three individuals a week that are just willing to put in the extra work to get success,” Lauden said.

The team has hefty goals for themselves and the players are determined to win a PAC championship this year. With an already successful and highlight-filled year, the team has no plans to slow down. They are heading into the playoffs with a four-game win streak and have a lot of confidence in their ability to bring home the first-ever PAC championship for women’s basketball at Chatham.

“We have had those tough losses, we have lost by buzzer beaters, we have been through the hard stuff and we haven’t just had success throughout the season. We have been through the rocky moments, and I think that will help us and prepare us for the playoffs,” Laukus said.

Saur feels that this team is different from teams in years past and has confidence in his players.

“This is the first year that we have really felt that if we play really good basketball for the last week heading into the playoffs that we can win a PAC championship. If we just play our game, and we play the way we want to play and have a good night, we can beat anybody,” Saur said.

The team started its playoffs off on the right foot with an 18-point victory over Alleghany in the first round. The team then traveled to top-ranked Washington and Jefferson and shocked the Presidents to advance to the PAC finals on Feb. 25 when the Cougars look to win their first PAC championship.