For the Newman Jets’ women’s basketball and men’s baseball teams, this past year was one for the record books as both teams reached post-season play in the MIAA conference. For the women’s basketball team, it marked the first time ever the program achieved a post-season berth.
Wrestler Jace Fisher also accomplished a post-season feat; the sophomore represented Newman University in the NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships.
For the women’s basketball team, getting a post-season berth as the ninth seed in the MIAA conference tournament was a dramatic turnaround from its 2021-2022 season when the team had just one conference win and finished 3-25 overall under then first-year coaches Drew Johnson and Nicole Ohlde Johnson.
For senior Britney Ho, who was the team’s leading scorer averaging 17.5 points per game, the trip to the MIAA tourney was a wonderful way to close out her two years as a Jet.
“That’s big time for us … just as a program starting from ground zero last year with a new head coach, new team, (it’s) amazing obviously,” she said.
The Lady Jets’ historic season came to an end with a first-round tournament loss to Northwest Missouri State.
or the men’s baseball team, its MIAA tournament berth was the first time since 2014 that it extended into post-season play. The team finished the regular season with a 22-28 overall record and 14-19 conference record. The 14 MIAA wins were the most conference wins in program history and earned the team the seventh seed in the tournament.
Having senior Jenner Steele, Newman’s first baseman, named MIAA Baseball Co-Player of the Year added to the team’s accomplishments this year.
The baseball team’s season ended with a game three loss in the MIAA tournament against Missouri Southern.
Fisher was on a mission to do well in his second year on the mat for the Jets. And he succeeded, placing first in the Drury Open in his weight class and in the top three in two other meets. He also showed out big time in the NCAA Division II Super Regional IV in Edmond, Oklahoma, securing a win to put him into the national tournament. The Jets last qualified an individual for the national wrestling championships in the 2020-21 season, when current graduate assistant Kameron Frame made it.
Although Fisher fell short of his goal to become a national champion, he still has two seasons left to reach that pinnacle and possibly in front of a home crowd. Newman will host the 2024 NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships.