(KFVS) - What a difference a year makes. Before the start of this season, the SEMO women's basketball team was picked to finish dead last in the Ohio Valley Conference.
In her first year as head coach, Rehka Patterson took a team that was 10 and 19 and has given them their first winning season since the 2008-2009 season and snapped the six year drought since the team has made the OVC tournament.
The Redhawks have seen improvements in all aspects of play.
The players say there's been a change of attitude.
"We love each other, like family, like sisters and everything," senior Erin Bollmann said with a smile. "So when we get on the court, it just shows."
This year the Redhawks have new life, and it's because of the culture first year head coach Rehka Patterson is creating.
"These young ladies, anything that I ask them to do, they do it," Patterson said with a grin. "Which is why it's so enjoyable to come to practice every day and come to work every day."
The team can feel the change as well, and it's apparent every time they take the floor.
"We were confident in ourselves before, but she just brought that to a whole new level," sophomore Ashton Luttrull says.
The biggest change for this team is how Patterson views each and every one of her players, and what she really wants them to take away at the end of the day.
"That I care about them," Patterson said adamantly. "Yeah I want us to win and I want us to get to Nashville, but I care about them developing into young women who can deal with life and deal with adversity."
The challenge ahead currently is the OVC tournament, and the SIUE Cougars, who the Redhawks will face on March 3 at 2 p.m.
But the Redhawks are confident. Because they have a coach that believes in them.
"Believe in yourself, in your work ethic, believe you're good enough and that you're tough enough," Patterson said. "And all those things that you sometimes doubt, put that out of your head and just believe and go work hard and let's see what happens."