Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Women’s Basketball Season Preview

The Whitman College women’s basketball team faces high expectations as they approach the start of their 2013-2014 season. With an Elite Eight finish in the national tournament and 23-6 record last season, D3Hoops.com ranks the Missionaries 11th in the nation as they look toward the upcoming season.

Heather Johns '14 shoots during a scrimmage.
Photo by Marlena Sloss

“There’s a good confidence about this group –– they have high expectations for themselves,” said Head Coach Michelle Ferenz. “Last year we felt like the underdog, and this year we’re definitely not, so we’re learning how to handle it.”

With all eyes on them, the Missionaries are focusing on much more than the heavy expectations.

“After going to the Elite Eight last year, there are a lot of expectations for us this season. Instead of focusing on what we did in the tournament, as amazing as that was, we are a new team with new players and talents,” said senior and First Team All Conference player Sarah Anderegg. “We want to take one day at a time to improve and get better, rather than falling into the pressure of expectations and national rankings.”

With this in mind, the team came up with the season motto “win the day” in order to keep them focused on taking the season day by day and improving at every moment.

The team has plenty of experience this year, with four seniors and four returning starters. Anderegg, Meghan White and Tiffani Traver are three returning starters who look to lead the team as seniors this season.

“These three have to lead the way,” said Coach Ferenz. “They play a ton of minutes.”

Junior Heather Johns returns as the team’s starting point guard with another year of good experience under her belt, and she also looks to play significant minutes.

“Our team is fortunate to be returning such diverse talents. Myself and the rest of our seniors are looking to maximize our chances of success through playing good team basketball and using everyone’s individual talents to make the collective group stronger,” said Anderegg.

But even with such strong experience, the team acknowledges that every year is different. 

“Part of preseason is putting it all together, and with every year comes a different team and dynamic,” said Ferenz.

Sarah Anderegg '14 shoots a free throw during practice.
Photo by Marlena Sloss

The team relies on preseason as a time to work out the changes that the new team and season will bring.

“Every year you have to refine where you fit in,” said sophomore Hailey McDonald. “People have been switching positions and roles –– you just have to put the pieces together.”

Their preseason work is soon to be tested. Whitman opens its season on Nov. 15 in Spokane, Wash., as they take on University of St. Thomas (MN) who is ranked fifth in the nation according to D3Hoops.com. Ferenz believes this will be an excellent preseason test for the ladies, who have been working extremely hard in the offseason.

“They have the right mindset,” she said. “They’re just anxious to get started.”

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