The Lady Cavs basketball team is determined to hit the ground running this season.
In January of the 2011-12 season, the team hit a slump. They lost six straight games but were able to come back together as a team and make up for it by winning their final five regular games of the season.
“We thought we were going to ride that momentum into the playoffs,” fourth-year head coach Kate Pearson said. “But we fell short to a veteran Marywood University team.”
With the opportunity of making it to the playoffs but losing their first round in the CSAC semi-finals, “it crushed us” Laura Caron, senior guard and forward, said. Even though last season was tough for the team, “it gave us the drive for this season” Colleen Stewart, junior forward, said.
The team will be returning with a number of upperclassmen from last year’s team, including Laura Caron who will be a fifth-year senior coming off an ACL injury.championship.”
Other key-returning players include guard Brittany Sandone, who was a second team all-conference selection last year. While sophomores Amber Keys and Megan Decker bring high intensity and excitement to the court.
Practices this year will consist of numerous drills that help them to get up and down the court fast. The Lady Cavs also work on defensive and offensive plays. They also work hard on their foul shots.
“They are key in a game because they add up,” Caron said.
Coach Pearson’s main focus each practice is to work hard on becoming a fundamentally sound team. She challenges the women at becoming the best they can be, while creating an intense playing environment as to mimic the intensity of a real game.
“Every game is important,” Pearson said. They never underestimate or over estimate any team. Then again the women feel there is a different level of competitiveness when they play Eastern University because of the tradition between the schools and athletic programs.
“Neumann and Gwynedd-Mercy are definitely our top competition,” Stewart said. “These games always bring a good fight and an even louder crowd.”
Gwynedd-Mercy won the conference last year and is at the top of the league year after year.
“They will be our toughest competition and one of our biggest rivals,” Pearson said.
The women are determined to not let any negativity get to them.
“It’s only harmful trash talk and we are definitely ready this year,” Caron said.
The Lady Cavs are aiming to reach the CSAC playoffs and compete for the league championship.
“We expect to win the CSAC’s this year,” Caron said. “We came so close last year and we should have went further.”
The women are keeping a positive attitude this season, even though there may be some losses; they are still going to fight for the win.
Each player has her own strengths and each player brings something different to the team. The women do not look at who their top player is or who is better.
“We do know that there is always one person who is better at foul shots than the next,” Caron said. “There is always someone better.”
But the women are a team, and work together as a team in doing the best they can.
“Our motivation this year is our motto’s teamwork till the end,” Pearson said. “Most importantly our motivation is to win the CSACS.”