Kansas guard Holly Kersgieter joins teammates in announcing return to KU for super-senior season

Kansas senior Holly Kersgieter during the WNIT Championship game between Kansas and Columbia on Saturday, April 1, 2023.

The Kansas women’s basketball team’s starting five from the 2022-23 season is officially returning for an encore.

The picture became complete Saturday morning, when senior guard Holly Kersgieter announced on social media that she would be back for her super-senior season.

With underclassmen Wyvette Mayberry and Chandler Prater already planning to return, the Jayhawks learned this week that the three other starters would join them in crimson and blue next season.

Center Taiyanna Jackson was the first to announce her plan to stick with the Jayhawks. Leading scorer Zakiyah Franklin followed her up with a similar announcement on Thursday. And Kersgieter ended the suspense early Saturday morning by announcing her return.

A year after earning first-team all-Big 12 honors as a junior, Kersgieter was an honorable mention selection on the all-Big 12 team this season.

She was the Jayhawks’ third-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game — behind all-Big 12 teammates Jackson and Franklin — and led the team in 3-point makes (64) and steals (66) while shooting 84% at the free throw line. She also averaged six rebounds per game, showing off her versatility and ability to be more than just a scorer.

Fresh off of that trio helping lead the KU women back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013, the 2022-23 Jayhawks were picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 preseason poll.

After a blazing-hot start and a strong finish, KU landed in seventh place in the final Big 12 standings at 9-9 in conference play. But a loss to TCU in the opening round of the Big 12 tourney led to KU missing out on a bid to the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday.

The Jayhawks rolled to six consecutive wins in the WNIT to bring home the postseason tournament title.

The talk after their title-game victory over Columbia at Allen Fieldhouse was that they hoped to use the run as a springboard for an even bigger season in the year to come.

With all five starters, along with incoming five-star freshman S’Mya Nichols, in the mix, Brandon Schneider’s Jayhawks should be in a position to compete for a high finish in the Big 12 and another run at the NCAA Tournament.

So, as he heads into his ninth season on the heels of by far his two best seasons since arriving at KU, Schneider will welcome back an experienced squad that will be hungry to take the program to new heights.

He’ll also have room to add some new faces in key roles around the Jayhawks’ core.

Four members of the 2022-23 roster recently announced their plans to enter the transfer portal, with one-time starter Ioanna Chatzileonti, forward Katrine Jessen and guards Mia Vuksic and Sanna Strom deciding to look for other opportunities this offseason.

Those departures, along with the additions of Nichols, from nearby Shawnee Mission West High, and Laia Conesa, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Barcelona, Spain, leave Schneider and his coaching staff with three scholarships to give for the 2023-24 roster.


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