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The Scarlet & Black

Women’s basketball sets to face off Central

chris lee The women’s basketball team will play against Central College tomorrow at 2 p.m. Photo by Chris Lee.

The women’s basketball team will launch the 2014-2015 season striving for a better result compared to last year. The Pioneers will continue to carry a small roster, which consists of two first-years, seven second-years, three third-years and two seniors. Although they may be shorthanded on the seniors and first-years in terms of numbers, the team has a strong nucleus in between, whose motivation is stronger than before.

The core group of second-years, who all now have a year of intensive collegiate sporting experience under their belts, is one of the squad’s bright spots to look forward to this season.

“Last year we had a very young team with seven first-years coming in,” said Jordan Schellinger ’15. “Having played together for a year now, our team chemistry has really improved since last season and I expect that to show in our games this season.”

chris lee The women’s basketball team will play against Central College tomorrow at 2 p.m. Photo by Chris Lee.
The women’s basketball team will play against Central College tomorrow at 2 p.m. Photo by Chris Lee.

With the team only graduating one senior from last year’s squad, the younger players will continue to receive much playing time and gain valuable experience.

“We only graduated one senior last season, Abby Jaeger [’14],” Schellinger said. “While we miss her a lot, this means that the majority of the team is back again this season and ready to go. Abby was a great guard and some of our younger guards are really stepping up to take her place.”

As Schellinger noted, younger players will shoulder more of the burden this season. They are expecting to exceed last year’s standard when the team complied only three wins. Some of those most promising players are Anne Boldt ’16, Alex Plemmons ’15, Sophia Gatton ’17, Alissa Hirsh ’16 and Lydia Stariha ’17.

“One of [my goals] is to be a role model on and off the court,” Gatton said. “We do have a lot of younger players, and [I would like] to be that person who other players can look up to and who is a very stable leader on the team. … Something that we struggled [with] a lot last season was a lack of leadership at times. So I feel like having more of those this season would be really beneficial.”

As competitive as the players are, though, they are supportive of each other.

“The entire team is very invested in our success and because of this, we strive to work hard for one another,” Schellinger said. “I really think our motivation lies in our team and our desire to be there for each other—on and off the court.”

To make up for their small size and lack of an ample game experience, head coach Dana Harrold has put the players in game-like situations during practices. Through these practices, the coach hopes to have the players battle-tested, so that they would feel more comfortable with different situations on the court.

“Unfortunately, sometimes you have to play in those situations in games until you get comfortable, so I foresee these four to five games of the season for us being a learning experience from some standpoint,” Harrold said. “I think we have some winnable games, but we will probably be playing our best basketball after the holiday break.”

The team will test its skills in the season opener tomorrow against Central College at 2 Darby Gymnasium.

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