One-on-one with Kate Letkewicz '18

by Samantha Hussey | 1/5/18 1:00am

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Source: The Dartmouth

After being named All-Ivy Honorable Mention last season, women’s basketball player Kate Letkewicz ’18 has continued to lead her team to an impressive start going into Ivy play. Letkewicz led the Big Green in its win over Rhode Island with 17 points and 10 rebounds and contributed a season-high 22 points against then-No. 13 ranked Ohio State University.

Last season, the team went 8-19, and this season the team is currently 8-5. What can you say about the team’s performance this season?

KL: We just finished our non-conference play and so far it’s just been really positive, really fun — a much different feel than last year. Everyone’s working super hard and putting the extra work in, and it has really showed. We beat a big Pac-12 Conference school, the University of Colorado, Boulder, at their home court so that was really exciting. Even though we were 8-3 going into Christmas and then we just lost two tough road games, I am very pleased with our performance and proud of myself and my teammates.

Is there anything that has changed in terms of training or strategy from last season?

KL: Our offensive strategy game plan has kind of changed. We are trying to score earlier on the shot clock and push the ball more when we get a stop on defense. Even after our opponent makes a basket on defense, we are trying to push the ball. It is more of a fast paced offense, and I think that is really helpful. People are also stepping up, coming off the bench, really contributing, and our point guards, Cy Lippold ’19 and Annie McKenna ’20, are really stepping up in fulfilling that role.

How would you describe the dynamic of the team?

KL: I think we are all really close. I’ve never been on a team where there is no drama — it really is a big family. It’s not divided by position or anything; everyone is just as close with each other. It’s a really positive and fun environment.

Heading into Ivy play, are there any aspects that you or the team are working on going into Saturday’s game?

KL: Personally, I am working on being very consistent with my shooting, and I’m going to focus in on my defense leading up to Harvard University. Collectively, we are trying to limit our turnovers — that was a problem this past weekend and what contributed majorly to our losses. I think limiting our turnovers and allowing our defense to trigger our offense will be really important.

What can we expect from you and the team going forward?

KL: I think you can expect really good things — hopefully a lot of wins. I think this season especially, I know as a senior, it has never been this even amongst all the Ivy League teams. The Ivy League Championship is really up for grabs. I think any team has a far shot at it, so it’s about bringing confidence into every game on the weekends and giving our best effort.

You were named All-Ivy Honorable Mention, a two-time Ivy League Player of the Week and Ivy League Rookie of the Week. What does it mean to you to be recognized for you athletic accomplishments? Does it influence your performance in anyway?

KL: I don’t think it really influences my performance. It’s kind of just icing on the cake. I try not to pay attention to statistics or awards or anything like that, but just playing for my team and focusing on the team accomplishments is really beneficial and only makes me play better.

Coming to the end of your senior year and collegiate basketball career, what achievement from your time here at Dartmouth are you particularly proud of?

KL: I think just watching our team grow collectively. I know when I came in as a freshman it was a little all over the place and it was just a different feel. I know, even as freshmen, my class really came in and put in the work and showed everybody else the work ethic that was necessary to have a winning team, so now being a senior and being able to lead my younger teammates, I think it is really awesome to see our growth as a program and how far we have come.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.