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On Wednesday, March 2 at 5:00 p.m., the Women’s Basketball Team hosted an intimate send-off to celebrate their upcoming game on Friday against Whitman College. They will be competing as SCIAC champions.
Abby Pagila, number 5 on the team, said she is very optimistic about this game: “This team has grown a lot this season, and we’re getting better. I’m confident [that] we’re going to do great.”
When I asked her what made the team strong, she said, “I think we all just have the same passion and love for the game. We come in every single day to work hard; there’s adversities and growing pains, but we always come back together.”
Team Captain Teani White agrees: “I think our ability to play for each other and just play hard [makes us strong]; we bring aggression and energy almost every game. You can’t really match that, and you can’t defend [against] that. So, I think that’s what makes us play better together, and harder to play against.”
White earned high praise at the beginning of the year from Head Coach Roy Dow, as she is a returning fifth-year, along with teammate Daisy Cardenas. Dow said that, “[They] are two extremely good players and good leaders, so having them back is incredible.”
White did have an amazing impact for the team, as she led the conference in assists per game with a 4.4 and was among the top five in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per game. Her leadership and performance on the court earned her the SCIAC Women’s Basketball Athlete of the Year by the coaches of the conference.
Those strengths are what brought the team to be champions. White explained, “I think, for one, playing as a team [helped us], but, for two, we’ve paid a lot of attention to the details: the film, the breakdowns, their plays [ . . . ] so, when it came time for the games, it was more relaxing because we had been over it so many times [ . . . ] that we knew what they were going to do before they knew what they were going to do.”
“We were disciplined,” Pagila added. “We were coached under a great coach and we all work hard together. . . . During practices, we come in, we have a plan, we have a strategy, and we execute it.”
The team members are obviously very connected. The Campus Courtyard isn’t necessarily the most comfortable or intimate setting, but the players were able to make it that way regardless. Now, above all times, they need to love and nurture the family dynamic they’ve created within this team.
Looking forward, they feel very prepared. “[Whitman] is a solid team all around. They have pretty complete players, but it’s nothing that we can’t handle,” White said with confidence. “I’m excited, and I’m glad [that] for my last year, we went out with a bang. . . . It’s a ‘we have nothing to lose’ type of moment, and I think we perform our best in those.”
The Poets face off against Whitman on Friday, March 4 at 5:30 p.m. in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. We wish the team good luck and hope they can bring home the title! If you want to tune into the game, visit the link here.
Featured Image: Courtesy of YouTube