GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) The lady Mavericks got everyone's attention on the basketball court last season, as they collected a school record 31 wins and made a deep run into the tournament.
This year, they're back for more but with a slightly different feel.
Last year's elite eight run for the CMU women's basketball squad was historic and unexpected for first year head coach Taylor Wagner and his team, but now it's on to a new chapter.
"We just want to be the hardest working team out there and last year, we were the most talented team, and this year we're not as talented and we're going to have to do things a little differently, so making our own journey and making our own story happen," said senior guard Sharaya Selsor.
They lost three of their top four scorers to graduation, but the majority of the other play-makers have returned as seniors.
With the addition of some key transfers, they feel primed to make another run.
"We kind of almost got overlooked last year," said Selsor. "As far as we were all part of that team, so yes our roles are different, but we experienced everything last year that those seniors experienced."
"We've come a long way already," said senior guard Christen Lopez. "I'm kind of surprised with how much, even with the new transfers in, they've stepped up with leadership as well. Even with the girls that were here last year who have got to experience that, we're all clicking very well."
It's all part of the attitude coach Wagner brought with him to CMU.
Now in his second season and with a different group of girls, his philosophy that preaches hard work and defensive intensity will be especially vital to this year's outcome.
"We want to do big things here," said Wagner. "I'm not coming here to be second place. That's the mentality we have with the girls is we're here to win every ball game."
"Offense flows out of our defense," added Selsor, "and it was the same last year, but it's even more important this year."
Last year this team came out of nowhere to surprise the DII basketball world, but this year they'll have to do it with a target on their back.