New faces add talent to women’s basketball

Ben Brady

The sky seems to be the limit this year for ISU women’s basketball, and talented newcomers could play a big role for the team.

Head coach Bill Fennelly said Lisa Kriener, a freshman forward/center from St. Ansgar, Iowa, and Melanie Bremer, a junior college transfer from Norfolk, Neb., could be important to this year’s team.

“Lisa Kriener’s gonna play,” he said. “That’s one for sure … she’s demonstrated a lot of skill.

Fennelly said he is hoping Bremer still will be able to play.

“She hasn’t been healthy since the day we got here. She had a bad back, then her back got better and she sprained her ankle,” he said.

Fennelly said Kriener caught the attention of Cyclone coaches during the early season workouts.

“I think the biggest thing with Lisa is she’s in great shape. She’s probably a little better athlete than we thought,” he said. “I don’t think she has any idea how good she could be. [She is] without question the biggest plus of the fall.”

Kriener doesn’t quite have as much confidence as her coach. She said she has a long way to go, but she has grown as an athlete since she came to Iowa State.

Kriener said practicing with Angie Welle, Iowa State’s powerhouse in the post, has helped her believe in herself.

“She is an amazing teacher,” Kriener said. “She doesn’t have to tell me anything. It’s just what she does, how she moves, just how she plays. Just being in contact with her has taught me a lot.”

Although Kriener has surprised herself and the coaching staff, she is no stranger to success on the court.

She was a four-year starter at her high-school in St. Ansgar and was an all-conference selection four times.

She also led her team to the state tournament every year she played and was an all-state selection three times.

Bremer is familiar with success as well.

While playing at Northeast Community College, Bremer led her team to two conference titles, and she earned a spot on an all-star team that played overseas in 1999.

Bremer said her experience at Iowa State looks to be more intense than junior college, but she’s having fun.

“You just can’t be lazy,” she said. “You have to do something every day. Every day you come in they expect something out of you. You can’t ever go half way through it. You’ve always got to be going 100 percent.

“I like it. It’s a lot tougher, but you’ve got to expect that. We’re rated in the nation. I like the coaches and I like all the players. We have a lot of fun together so that’s probably a good thing.”

Bremer said she has some improving to do before she can make a big impact for the Cyclones.

“I need to improve on my footwork,” she said. “At junior college we never did any footwork or anything … I never did an individual workout, and I think I’ll get a lot better once I get my footwork down and I get everything that’s in this system down.”

Bremer said once she gets adjusted, her aggressive style of play, stout defense and mental toughness will help the Cyclones have another good season.