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Student-Athlete of the Week: Lily Sieben

Series: Student-Athlete of the Week | Story 26

March 11, 2020

Jocelyn Rowley

Niwot senior Lily Seiben led the Niwot girls basketball team in scoring, blocks, and steals this season, and will try to defend her state title at No. 2 doubles for the Niwot girls tennis team.

The 2019-20 Niwot girls basketball season is one that most of its participants would rather forget, but senior Lily Sieben will be taking at least a few happy memories with her. Among them is the resilience of her teammates, who kept fighting for wins even as the losses kept piling up.

"Winning our last game made it easier to walk away from the season," Sieben said of the Cougars' 2-21 record, their worst in decades. "We had high expectations this year, and not reaching them, we were disappointed, but we still had good attitudes, and still came to practice, and worked hard."

Sieben is no stranger to hard work. The third-year varsity forward led the Cougars in scoring, shooting, blocks, and steals on the year, and leaves Niwot with 400 career points and 76 steals. But when her personal success failed to turn into wins, she again found strength in her teammates. As success on the court continued to prove elusive, they drew closer and even managed to have "a lot of fun" down the stretch, making a dismal season somewhat bearable.

"It's hard when you don't get the outcomes you want, but you have to keep pushing through them," she said. "I think everyone had a good time. It just didn't reflect very well on the court, obviously."

Now Sieben is preparing for another season on the court, and the outlook for this one is much sunnier. On March 10 against Valor Christian, the senior will open her final campaign with the Niwot girls tennis team, a perennial contender for the Class 4A state title. Sieben herself is a two-time state champion at No. 2-doubles, and will be looking for her third straight in 2020.

"Hopefully we can keep the momentum we've had the past two years," she said of the team, which won the team title in 2018 and was runner-up last year. "Obviously we've had a lot of lines win state titles and get on the podium-so hopefully keep that same energy, and do it again this year."

For Niwot tennis coach Aimee Keronen, Sieben has been a solid presence in the middle of the lineup, and she's excited to see what the senior brings into her final year.

"Coming off of basketball is a little bit rough, in terms of the losses, but she has a lot of positive energy," Keronen said. "She's obviously in great shape coming out of the basketball season, and that's a lot of it for Lily, because she's super-athletic."

Sieben has played both sports since she was "pretty young," with neither emerging as a clear favorite over the years. She said both require good athleticism and "hand-eye coordination," but the similarities tend to end there. As for her respective high school teams, the differences couldn't be starker in terms of results, but she said team dynamics in both a winning and losing season are hard to compare.

"I definitely have different chemistry with both of my teams," she said. "For tennis, we worked hard to win state big because that was our expectation and that was our goal for the year. But for basketball, we had high expectations, and when we fell short, we still had each other's backs, and still kept working hard. So I think it was pretty similar in that."

When she's not on one of Niwot's courts, Sieben enjoys making "crazy connections" in her AP psychology class or reading old novels in English class. She also traveled to New Zealand in December, and went bungee jumping for the first time. After graduation, Sieben plans to attend Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., and study athletic training and "hopefully" play tennis.


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