The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Women’s Basketball looks for a break out season

The Grinnell Women’s Basketball Team’s season will officially begin this weekend when they face-off against the Rockford College Regents and the Dominican University Stars at the Lake Forest Tip-Off Tournament in Lake Forest, Illinois. The Pioneers will take on Rockford at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 and Dominican at 1 p.m on Nov. 20.

From Head Coach Kate Gluckman’s point of view, right now everything looks aces.

“I think right now our expectations and our optimism is pretty high, we had a really good pre-season in terms of the intensity level of our training,” she said. ”And we have a lot of people back.”

As a team that is almost two-thirds underclassmen, the Pioneer’s are young—though that may not be a bad thing.

“We are young, but a lot of our first-years from last year got time and got some games under their belts so we feel that we are not as young as we seem,” Gluckman said.

These thoughts may not be so off-base. The Pioneers recently beat the Central College Dutch in an unofficial scrimmage. The previous year the Dutch beat Grinnell handily.

“We are looking at that as a good sign, in terms of knowing where were last year, and knowing the type of team Central had, and seeing how we’ve progressed,” Gluckman said.

Second-year guard Karen Gogins ’13 sees the scrimmage as a both a way to assess their game and build chemistry.

“A lot of it was just trying to see who played well together,” Gogins said. “But we played really well on defense. We had really good defensive pressure, really good intensity.”

In addition to losing last year’s leading scorer, Jessica Shotts ’10, to a diploma, the Pioneers will also be without two starters—Meg Huey ’12 and Ashley Jeannin ’12—for the first third of the season until the women return from studying abroad. Center Liz Burnett ’13 says the team is going to have to step up their game to fill those vacancies.

“I think we all worked really hard over the summer because we knew this would change our roles a bit,” Burnett said. “It’s evident that we all have worked hard and have improved. I think we are a team that is going to fit together really well.”

Gluckman thinks at least one underclassman is poised for a breakout season.

“Tolu [Alabi ‘13] is one of the most phenomenal athletes we have here at Grinnell. She is going to really turn some heads in the Midwest Conference this year, in terms of her athleticism and her ability to turn defense into offense,” Gluckman said.

In terms of style, Gluckman says the women’s approach is markedly  different from that of the trigger-happy men’s team.

“One of our strengths is going to be our defense. We are going to create a lot of scoring opportunities off of steals,” Gluckman said. “I think we’re going to keep teams to a low score and hopefully on the offensive end we’ll be able to get a little bit of an inside outside game. We have some great three-point shooters and some great post presence…I think that we are a multidimensional team.”

As for their goals, the team stays by a similar set every year.

“Our goal is always to make it to the conference tournament,” Gluckman said. “We, for the last two years, have been in the bottom half so we have high goals”

This year, though, the team may have history on their side.

“This year is the 20th anniversary of our team winning the conference tournament,” Gluckman said. “So we feel like it’s about time that we did something.”

Gogins sees promising possibilities in the forthcoming season.

“Conference-wise, I think we could definitely make it and I think we have a lot potential,” Gogins said.

The Pioneers have their first home game against Knox College on Dec. 8 at 5:00 p.m. in Darby. Coach Gluckman believes home games could be critical this season.

“One of the goals that we have is to win at home,” she said. “We’re growing in the number of supporters we have and people seem to be excited about our team, so that will be really good for us.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *