The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Women’s Basketball nears the end

It’s been nearly two decades since the Grinnell Women’s Basketball team finished at the top of their conference.
Indeed, many of the players on Grinnell’s young team hadn’t even been born when the 1990-91 squad took the Midwest Conference title. Yet even while heading into the end of a tough 2009-10 season that has netted only four wins to date and countless heartbreaking losses, the Pioneers feel as though their luck may be about to change.
“We expect a lot of ourselves,” said Jessica Shotts ’10, the team’s only senior and one of three captains. “It’s not that we can’t be #1 in the conference because we definitely could have been this year if we played every game the way we knew how to play. A lot of times we just beat ourselves.”
Those affiliated with the program tend to point to the team’s youth when explaining their difficulty with maintaining leads or pulling out wins in close contests.
“Our team is very bottom-heavy in terms of having a lot of first years and sophomores contributing a lot of time,” Head Coach Kate Gluckman said. “I think there’s a level of patience that is very difficult but necessary right now in terms of what we’re trying to be, and what team we’re going to be in the next one or two years.”
Gluckman and her squad’s patience has begun to pay off for the Pioneers, who have become a more tight-knit team going into their final six games of the season.
“Now at the end of the season everybody’s really starting to listen to each other more, which I think is going to be beneficial for us next year,” said Jessica Vaverka ’11, co-captain and center. “We’re all going to just be able to go in knowing that we all have something to add to the team.”
The team’s progress has only produced one win since coming back from Winter Break, an 8-point victory over Lawrence. After giving up tough losses to Monmouth and Lake Forest last week, Grinnell will travel to Wisconsin to face Ripon and Beloit, making this their second week in a row without any home games.
Winning this weekend would give the Pioneer women a chance to highlight the progress they have made.
“If we start these next six games on a roll, I think we definitely have a chance to win out,” said Meg Huey ’12, forward. “We know that we progressed in skill but we want to progress in a way that’s visible to people outside of our program.”
Although Grinnell Women’s Basketball believes they are headed towards a bright future, the focus right now is on this weekend, as it provides the first steps towards next year’s success.
“I think that some of our upcoming games are games we’re going to be in, especially this weekend,” said Ashley Jeannin ’12, co-captain and guard. “I think those are definitely going to be opportunities for us to set the tone for the end of this year going into next year.”

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