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Hawks prepare a high rate of speed on the court

Road miles in the three time-zone Big Sky Conference rack up in a hurry. UND senior Leah Szabla knows that better than anyone. Travel can be difficult. At times, there isn't much time between games, either. "It's hard but it's something we prepar...

Road miles in the three time-zone Big Sky Conference rack up in a hurry. UND senior Leah Szabla knows that better than anyone.

Travel can be difficult. At times, there isn't much time between games, either.

"It's hard but it's something we prepare for," said Szabla. "We have tough practices; in the preseason we do a lot of running and workouts to prepare for it."

UND opens its women's basketball season this afternoon at The Betty against Drake. On Sunday, UND will play at Texas Tech. It's two games in three days that requires considerable travel, much like the Big Sky season.

"It's important to share some of the knowledge I've learned," said Szabla of UND's travel. "It's important to share it all, what it takes to recover and things like that."

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Szabla has been a guard for her first three seasons at UND, but she's been shifted to the small forward position this season.

"It's still the same game," she said. "I'm still playing with the same people. It's a challenge but it's something I'm ready to take on and help may teammates in any way I can."

UND downed Minnesota-Crookston 83-48 in an exhibition game on Sunday.

Today's opponent, however, has been picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bulldogs went 23-10 last season and advanced to the second round of the WNIT. Nine players return from last year's team.

UND coach Travis Brewster will start Szabla, Makailah Dyer, Grace Sawatzke, Lexi Klabo and Fallyn Freije. Klabo and Freije will be the inside players.

Brewster said tempo will be important for the Hawks this season.

"I want to see them go, go, go," said Brewster. "When they play at a high rate of speed, they're better. They are that type of group. The biggest thing is that we have to rebound the basketball when we go at that rate of speed."

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.


He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.



He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.



Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or wnelson@gfherald.com.
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