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Communiqué

The Student News Site of Chatham University

Communiqué

The Student News Site of Chatham University

Communiqué

Women’s basketball 14-game winning streak comes to an end

Aurielle+Brunner+25+drives+the+basket+for+a+layup.
Chatham Athletics
Aurielle Brunner ’25 drives the basket for a layup.

The women’s basketball team has been making history each game since its trip to Puerto Rico for a tournament over winter break. Not only did the team beat a nationally ranked team for the first time in program history, but each win collected increased their program setting win streak.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. After 14 games, doubled the previous record set in 2021-22, the women’s basketball team finally lost a game. The Cougars dropped a contest on the road to Washington and Jefferson.

Head coach David Saur has always been confident in his team’s efforts. Several key players returned from their Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) finals run last year, and Saur is excited for his team to see the results of their hard work.

“The bottom line is we have really talented basketball players,” Saur said. “This is what we felt like we could do at our peak.”

Guard Aurielle Brunner ‘25 has been a large asset to the team’s recent success. With a strong belief in her team’s triumph, Brunner is humble and believes that the team’s “underdog attitude” is what will guide them to success.

“I knew we had the ability to be successful ever since last year. Even though our outcome wasn’t the way we wanted, we came back this year hungrier than ever for that championship,” Brunner said. “It is evidently noticeable that we want this win and will do everything in our power to do so.”

Brunner has made PAC Player of the Week multiple times in her career and her efforts against competitive teams have furthered her team in their season.

Shooting Guard Ashlie Louden ‘25 is a determined and positive player on and off the court. Expecting success since her first season with the team in their 2022-23 season, Louden is confident in her team’s ability to finish the season strong.

“I will never expect anything less from this team, knowing the depth and talent we have,” Louden said.

Louden earned PAC Player of the Week honors after averaging 19.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in three wins. 

The team appreciates their fans’ efforts and hopes for more student attendance to give them the support they need to win their last games and make it to the championship.

“Ever since my freshman year here, we’ve barely had students supporting us or coming to our games, but we don’t let it phase us,” Brunner said.

“We’re hoping to host the PAC championship, which I think will bring a lot of people out to support us,” Louden added. “However, the ones that have supported us through and through, we are very thankful for their support.”

Saur’s coaching strategy is as follows: one day at a time, one game at a time. His approach is crucial to his players’ mental capabilities when they step onto the court. By focusing on the present, his team can compartmentalize and put their full effort and skill into each and every game.

“We have players that love the game and love to work, and I think when you have that combination. … That’s a recipe for success,” Saur said.

Saur’s players appreciate his commitment to their success. His strong positive coaching attitude has fostered an environment where the players feel confident in their efforts in any game, against any team.

“Coach [Saur’s] attitude is a lot like mine,” Louden said. “It’s great we’re winning and having a successful season, but the reason we’re doing all of this is to win a championship.”

Saur and his team recognize the work of the team’s assistant coaches Alumni Britney Smith ‘21 and Olivia Barkley ‘19 who have played for Saur in the past and have assisted the team now for two years.

“With the work that they put in outside practice and having great relationships with our players, their work has been as much as anything to the success we’ve had last season and this season,” Saur said.

The team was picked third in the PAC preseason poll, and are currently in second place behind Washington and Jefferson.

The women’s basketball team looks to get back in the win column once again Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. when they host Bethany at the Athletic and Fitness Center.

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About the Contributor
Josie Barton, Sports Editor
Josie Barton ‘25 is a journalism major minoring in business at Chatham University. Josie is from the northern Pittsburgh area, transferring from Thiel College and ultimately deciding on Chatham for its city environment and inclusive and advanced communications program. She is the sports editor for the  Communiqué and she also writes news, lifestyle and opinion pieces. In addition to her work on the paper, she also enjoys playing lacrosse for Chatham, spending time with her animals, trying out new recipes to cook, writing creatively and reading anything and everything. Josie can be reached best at [email protected] or via her instagram @josiejosie.b.

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