SPRINGFIELD, Mo–The Mizzou womens basketball program is looking forward to next season.

One big reason is that this past season was one to forget for the Lady Tigers.

Mizzou coach Robin Pingeton was in Springfield last week preaching optimism.

Last season, Mizzou battled through a tough SEC schedule and Covid quarantines.

The Lady Tigers finished 9-13.

One player that Pingeton is counting on this winter is Strafford product Hayley Frank.

The 6-1 forward was second on the team in scoring averaging nearly 13 points per game.

Hayley will be a junior on a team that was recently projected to make next season’s NCAA tournament.

“A lot was put on her. We graduated Sophie Cunningham a couple of years ago. And then we bring in a kid like Hayley Frank. And there’s just a lot on her shoulders. And she’s been tremendous. We’re excited about what’s in front of us. And learn from the lessons the last couple of years. And be better because of them. I remember sitting down with Frankie and saying hey, ‘I know it’s hard and not necessarily what you signed up for.’ And she looked me dead square in the eye and said coach I signed up to grow and to learn. I thought how mature for a young kid,” said Pingeton.