Anderegg Brings Multiple Dimensions to Women’s Basketball

Cole Anderson

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Photo by Marra Clay

Coming off a successful 2012-2013 season, the Whitman College women’s basketball team is looking toward another top finish in the NWC and a playoff run. Of the team’s several talented returners, senior Sarah Anderegg looks to be the most dangerous weapon for the Missionaries this season. Following a great season last year, Anderegg is looking to improve even more this season.

Anderegg is the starting center, and with that comes an implicit need to be a strong, physical force under the net, a role she wasn’t always quite suited to fill.

“She has always had the ability to score, but what I am really proud of is how complete a player she has become. Her defense, rebounding, passing and decision-making have improved so much since her first season,” said Head Women’s Basketball Coach Michelle Ferenz.

Anderegg was a bit more critical of her first year.

“You probably wouldn’t believe me, but I’ve gained about 20 pounds since coming in as a freshman; I was such a scrawny little toothpick. Even though I am still undersized and fall down all the time, it is a million times better than freshman year,” said Anderegg.

Her teammates frequently poke fun at how often she gets knocked to the floor over the course of a game, but at the end of the day, she is probably the toughest player on the court, leading the team in rebounds this season.

“It’s become kind of a running joke on the team that they count all the times I fall down during a game, and it’s gone from like 10 times a game to four. Getting stronger has helped me in all aspects of the game. Even though I absolutely hate weight lifting, it’s been so apparent how much it has made me better,” said Anderegg.

Anderegg’s coach also commended her persistence in working to get better in any way she can. And it is clearly evident how much her work ethic rubs off on her teammates each and every practice.

“Sarah is a competitor. She hates to lose and she loves to compete. Because she is so competitive, Sarah works hard at practice and that makes her and her teammates better,” said Ferenz.

As a captain, that ability to motivate others on the team simply by example is important, and Anderegg has grown into a leader in that regard. One leadership quality on which she has improved coming in as a senior is her vocal presence on the court.

“Her work ethic and her competitiveness make her a leader by example. Sarah always plays hard and gives a great effort. Over the past year, Sarah has become more confident in her ability to be a more vocal leader and she will speak up and take the lead when we need her to,” said Ferenz.

Athletically, Anderegg also possesses all the qualities that make a great player, and her teammates are quick to acknowledge that.

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Photo by Marra Clay

“Sarah is an offensive weapon; she is athletic and has great hands that catch any pass you throw at her and [finish] the play with ease. She can shoot from outside and has spectacular court awareness. She also knows how to use her body to create contact, finish and draw a foul,” said senior Meghan White.

Anderegg is also one of the team’s best free-throw shooters, so far shooting 74.3 percent from the line this season. Anderegg is averaging almost twice as many rebounds per game at 10, up from 5.1 last season, and scoring five more points per game than last season’s average of 13.7. Her shooting is probably the most consistent aspect about Anderegg’s game. Though actually down about four percent from last season’s 53.5, a conference leading average, Anderegg remains one of the team’s most dependable scorers.

The team has a motto of “Win the Day,” a tribute to their constant effort to improve every day, and players embrace that identity to the fullest. Anderegg is a great role model for the younger players in pursuit of improvement and consistency. She is constantly working to get better while simultaneously serving as the consistent offensive weapon on whom the team relies, something her fellow seniors echo.

“Sarah is one of our go-to offensive players on the court who we can count on to contribute to scoring every game, which I think is amazing. Sarah will bring poise in pressure situations that will help us be calm and perform when stress levels are high,” said White.

Anderegg is a player who every team wants and no one wants to play against. She is strong and physical going to the basket, but can also shoot from outside and distribute just the same.

Given all of these attributes, White summed up opinions on Anderegg rather poignantly.

“Let’s just say I am glad she is on our team so that I do not have to guard her,” she said.