RCTC Women’s Basketball Wins National Championship, Three Years in the Making
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It’s an indescribable feeling.
“It was unreal, crazy, loud something I just wasn’t expecting,” Myia Ruzek said.
“Ugh national champions,” Olivia Christianson said.
With a 73-53 win over Minnesota West. That’s exactly what the RCTC Yellowjackets are, national champions.
“It was fun that we got to accomplish our goal that we’ve had since year one and being able to do it all together before we were done, it was great,” Ruzek said.
Year one being the 2020-21 season, six players from that group are on this current team thanks to an extra year of eligibility.
“Not a lot of people get that opportunity so to take advantage of that and capitalize on it is what we did and that’s exactly what we wanted and that’s what were thinking. That was our plan and we executed it till the end,” Christianson said.
Head Coach Jason Bonde recruited all of them and in his first year a season after the program didn’t have enough players, the Jackets went 16-1.
The following year 24-6, falling just a shot short in the tournament semifinals.
“Last year we had felt that hurt that she was talking about in the semifinals, this year we felt it in the region tournament, and I think we were not letting that happen again,” Christianson said.
“When they all said that they were coming back right then you know if things go well, if you stay healthy this could be a possibility and that’s what we did,” Jason Bonde, RCTC Head Coach said.
Then in came a group of new players.
“I don’t really know when it clicked for everybody and don’t even know when it clicked for me when this was going to be possible, but when you have the puzzle pieces like this and they fit you just have that feeling that this is meant to be,” Christianson said.
It’s this group, each other that made the Jackets a championship team.
“You had three girls that battled each other year and year in high school didn’t really like each other and now those three are kind of inseparable, best of friends and I think it goes throughout the whole team. You could see them becoming closer and closer every year, every moment together, every practice together,” Bonde said.
Now a second banner will hang in the rafters at RCTC.
“I’ve always fallen second like my whole life for everything so just finally being able to fall first,” Jada James, an RCTC Freshman said.
“We had been working for this for three years, we had the opportunity to come back and so all of our experience, all of you time in the gym, the weight room, eating the way we’re supposed to, sleeping and all of the things that go into winning a national championship had come to life,” Christianson said.
When they see it in the rafters they’ll remember.
“All those memories will come right back of what type of people they are more than the basketball,” Bonde said.
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