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The Antelope

The Antelope

Redshirt junior flourishing in increased role for Lopers

Sarah Schmitt has averaged 9.5 points and 3.13 assists per game through eight games in the 2022-23 season. Photo provided by Kylie Schwab / Antelope Staff

Sarah Schmitt, a transfer from UNO, has made her way onto the leaderboards for UNK. She’s top three on the team in points, 3-point attempts made and leads the team in assists.

She had her highest-scoring game this past weekend with 23 points and led the team with seven rebounds. Schmitt also leads the team in assists averaging 3.13 per game and in minutes averaging 28.63 per game. 

“Last year was her first year here and she came into a team of a whole bunch of veterans that had been around for quite some time,” said UNK basketball coach Carrie Eighmey. “She did a really good job of playing the role that we needed her to play last year. She was our backup point guard or our guard that would play with or for Haley Simental, who was here for three years.”

Schmitt stands second on the team in points, and averages 9.5 points per game. She also leads the team with 29 field goals. Her primary goal is to not let there be a “drop off” between Simental’s numbers and her own.

“I just want to make sure that I’m able to do that and lead our team to MIAA championships, get to the Elite Eight,” Schmitt said. “And then obviously the biggest goal is to win a national championship, especially with the five fifth-year seniors that we have. I feel like this is a year to make some waves.”

Schmitt’s transition to UNK was difficult and she struggled at first, but it became her home with the help of her teammates.

“I’m not a super open person, so it took a while for me to warm up to everyone and warm up to the coaches,” Schmitt said. “I was kind of shy at first and didn’t talk much, but after like a month or two I was feeling pretty good about it and I love my teammates. They were always making it really easy on me.”

Schmitt not only has a love for basketball, but a love for UNK.

“Honestly, I think a lot of it came from me getting comfortable last year,” Schmitt said. “I played behind Haley Simental last year. That helped me a lot. Obviously, you don’t come to a place and think you’re not going to play so many minutes and all that stuff. Playing behind her was awesome because she was such a great leader and she kinda showed me the ropes. So I feel like that kind of prepared me for this year to take a bigger step in playing.”

Schmitt has made UNK her new home and has been a quality player for the Lopers. After she met her coaches, the decision to come to UNK was easy.

“A lot of it was the coaches,” Schmitt said. “I really liked them on my visit and it’s really hard for me to trust in a coach after my experiences at Omaha and talking to them and meeting them, I felt I could really trust them. Also the culture that they built, the year that I was getting recruited by them was the first  time they made it to the Sweet 16 and they won the MIAA tournament. So that was pretty cool to me. I wanted to be a part of something big like that.”

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