MSU-Northern Skylights Gear Up for NAIA Tournament - News, Sports and Weather

MSU-Northern Skylights Gear Up for NAIA Tournament

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"The three-six matchup features Frontier Conference Montana State Northern playing Loyola University," said the NAIA bracket announcer.

"You still get goose bumps, right?" added Northern Head Coach Chis Mouat.

Just because there weren't many cheers doesn't mean the MSU-Northern women's basketball team isn't excited to be in this year's NAIA national tournament.

"It's just so rewarding to see our names up there and know that we've accomplished what we wanted to do from the beginning," said junior guard/forward Cydney Auzenne.

The lack of cheers is also due to the team's high standards. The Skylights expected to be in the national tournament this season: something they've done four years in a row.

"It's an honor to represent Montana and the state," added senior guard Natalee Faupel.

To represent Montana will be even more important this year, as the tournament moved from Kansas City to Billings. Junior Cydney Auzenne says that only helps her team.

"We're going to have a home crowd advantage. Billings is a town that we know. It's almost like playing at home," she said.

The Skylights will need that energy against their first test, Louisiana's Loyala University, a squad Northern met in Kentucky three years ago, but both teams are different this time around.

"We know they're high octane. They're a dribble-drive team and they can score," said Head Coach Chris Mouat. "It's probably going to be contrasting styles so we're going to have to find a way to slow them down."

The team says they'll be prepared for Loyola and whoever stands in their way moving forward. Ultimately the Skylights want to win a national title, and to do so close to home, would be extra sweet.

"That would be the cherry on top. It would be amazing to put it all together and for all these girls who have been there so long, welcoming the new ones, (and just) leaving a legacy, that would be great," said Faupel.

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