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Season in review: A look back at the Montana Lady Griz 2023-24 campaign

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Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 19:51:10-04

MISSOULA — The Montana Lady Griz wrapped up their season on Monday in the WNIT tournament, as they fell to North Dakota State in the second round.

Montana ended its season at 23-10 overall as the program took a step forward in the third season under head coach Brian Holsinger.

With as talented a roster as UM has had in recent years, the Lady Griz battled through a tough non-conference slate into Big Sky Conference play, where the team dealt with a litany of injuries but showed potential.

They then embarked on a conference season that saw a lot of success and a few close calls with the league's top teams.

The Lady Griz also won a game in Boise, Idaho, for the first time since the Big Sky's postseason tournament moved there, but ultimately fell in the tournament semifinals to Northern Arizona.

The team won more than 20 games for the first time since the 2015-16 season, but Montana is still searching for its first tournament championship since 2014-15.

Montana will lose an all-time staple in Carmen Gfeller, who exits the program having played the most games of any player ever at 138, while finishing as the fourth-leading scorer in program history with 1,622 career points.

UM will also bid goodbye to key additions in Gina Marxen and Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw, two players who found new homes with the Lady Griz and became impact players and key leaders.

Movement is already abound for the Lady Griz as they turn toward the offseason, as standout freshman Macey Huard as well as second-year guard Libby Stump, who suffered an injury early this season, have both entered the transfer portal.

As of now, Montana is set to return plenty of talent, including star forward Dani Bartsch who has emerged as arguably the team's best player, plus floor general Mack Konig who engineers UM's high-powered offense.

Other key players like MJ Bruno, Alex Pirog, Haley Huard and Adria Lincoln are set to return and could be in the mix for expanded roles with so many departures already.

The Lady Griz have trended in the right direction in recent years. Now as Holsinger enters the final year of his contract at Montana, it's a big offseason as they look to make the final push to get back to championship ways in 2025.