Women’s basketball surfs 6-win surge

maddybell

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The Women’s Basketball team didn’t just finish a 1,300 piece puzzle over Winter Break, they began a six game winning streak that they hope to continue in this coming weekend’s games against Lewis & Clark and George Fox, Jan. 27 and 28. After losing to some tough teams in the beginning of the season, this series of wins came as a result of hard work and focus, and takes the women closer to their season goal of reaching the NCAA national tournament in March.  

The women’s record early on in the season posed a mental challenge to the team.  “We were kind of discouraged. We played five nationally ranked teams early on and we were only losing by very small margins,” said junior guard, Mary Madden.

But playing teams ranked in the national league in December only better prepared the women for tough games in their own conference, and their dedication to improving their record over break is now spelled out in six bold “W”s, beginning with their January 2 win against La Sierra University.

After graduating their senior center, Rebecca Sexton, last season, the team has shifted their dynamic, and with the New Year in full stride, so is their game.

“[This season] we’re playing a different pace . . . we lost Bec, so now we’re running the same stuff, but we have a quicker pace with faster breaks. [Now] we can push up more defensively,”  said sophomore guard Tiffany Traver.

“We had to buckle down. If we want to make it to the NCAA tournament: our goal for the whole season: we have to keep reminding ourselves we need to come together. [Time off] at home allowed us to recollect and know that we had to come back and do really well,” said first-year forward Heather Lovelace.

“We have been working on our plays a lot and have required play study, so we memorize them and know them down to a T,” said sophomore forward Sarah Anderegg.

With their next two conference games Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday Jan. 28 against Lewis & Clark and George Fox, the women have a chance to take second or first place standings in conference, putting them at a significant advantage heading toward playoffs in February.

“Lewis & Clark and George Fox are going to be really challenging; there’s high expectations, [but] we’ve seen ourselves play well enough to beat them,” said Anderegg.

“The biggest difference this season is that we’re in the close games and finishing them,” said Madden.

For the three seniors on the team: Anna Forge, Jennifer Keyes and Jenele Peterson, hosting a playoff game in their final college season makes the prospects of these next two games that much more important.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team; we are in sole possession of third place in the NWC, and if we keep playing the way we’re capable, I think we have a great chance to host a playoff game or two. And in my senior season, I couldn’t ask for more,” said senior guard Anna Forge.

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