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'One by one': Notre Dame Tritons taking quest for three-peat 'one day at a time'

'One by one':  Notre Dame Tritons taking quest for three-peat 'one day at a time'
Posted at 10:10 PM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-12 23:10:21-05

GREEN BAY — The (4-1) Notre Dame Tritons girls basketball team has become a powerhouse under head coach Sara Rohde. Coming off of back to back Division 2 state titles, the Tritons are returning many of the core pieces that made them so successful the last two seasons.

Now that the 2022-2023 season is here, they have a new motto to keep them focused -- ‘one by one’.

“Just one game. One practice. Focusing on that one practice. Obviously, we did win two back-to-back state championships but we got to focus on one game at a time. Anything can happen – injuries, just anything – so one by one,” said Tritons junior point guard Trista Fayta.

After winning 28 straight games to end last year, the Tritons got a wake up call in their first game of the season against Pewaukee by one point.

“I definitely think it was an awakening call for us,” said junior forward Gracie Grzesk. “Just like, ‘okay every team is going to give us their best game and we need to come ready to play every single time’ and it just was an awakening call for us.”

Since then Notre Dame has rattled off four straight wins by 22 points or more. This season the Tritons will lean on Grzesk and Fayta, their top two scorers from last season.

“I think after (the loss) our team chemistry got a lot better and I think we just really saw what roles that we needed to fill into.”

Head coach Sara Rohde, calls Fayta a floor general. The point guard is averaging 20 points per game so far this season.

“She’s vocal, she controls the tempo, how we play,” Rohde said. Defensively she gets after it as well. She kind of dictates a lot of things for our team. There’s just something about her that makes everybody play a little more under control and she’s not afraid to fight for that for our team and bring them together if they need to be brought together.”

The two Tritons leaders recently committed to Division One programs. Grzesk to Wisconsin and Fayta to Illinois State. 

“The relationships, the coaches there, being in state and in the Big Ten you just can’t beat it,” said Grzesk who is averaging 19 points per game.

“I was very very excited,” said Fayta. “I think it was just one of the best decisions for me and I knew that when I went there that I really wanted to go there.”

Both players chose those schools over UW-Green Bay where their head coach played her college ball, but she doesn’t hold that against them.

“I would’ve loved for them to go there, but I support their decision and I know they’re going to do well wherever they go,” she said.

The players say they can truly live by their ‘one by one’ motto to achieve their ultimate goal of winning three straight state titles, thanks to their coach who is never satisfied.

“We like to say that (coach Rohde) is never satisfied.” said Grzesk. “We love that. She’s always working and seeing things that we can do better and improve everyday in practice. She definitely pushes us to be our best and it definitely shows on the court.”