Shannon Schweyen instructs the Lady Griz at a recent practice (MTN Sports photo).

MISSOULA – We knew the Lady Griz would look different without Robin Selvig on the bench. But after a string of injuries to veterans, new head coach Shannon Schweyen’s first team looks unrecognizable.

The freshman heavy lineup has struggled to keep up with the steep learning curve. Montana’s 2-6 record is worse than any start in Selvig’s 38 years as head coach. But Schweyen knows she must stay patient. And she sees progress every day.

“Often times freshman come in and they don’t understand how intense you have to be all of the time. And that’s been a struggle,” admitted Schweyen. “So we’re just trying to stay positive with them and keep them going. You see things all the time. You could be blowing your whistle every second in practice stopping it. But you have to let some of it go, and learn as we go.”

“I think the growth has been huge already,” said forward Rachel Staudacher, the only healthy senior on the team. “With each game we get a little better and a little more comfortable. And I think as the season goes on and as we get into conference, and Reno (for the Big Sky Conference Tournament), I think we’ll really do well.”

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The Lady Griz can show some progress Monday night at home against Rocky Mountain College. The NAIA club from Billings has a 7-4 record, but has dropped three straight.