Lady Cavs playoff bound

By Paul Nasella
February 3, 2005

With the end of their season quickly approaching, the Lady Cavs basketball team has high hopes and expectations of once again becoming Pennsylvania Athletic Conference champions.

“The intensity is here and we want to get to the playoffs,” forward Erin Lagarenne said. “We want to get to the PACs. We want to go all the way and that’s what everybody’s drive is right now. [We want] to win and we won’t settle for anything less.”

Even though things haven’t always been this way, the team is thoroughly improving with each passing practice. “In the beginning, it was a little rough,” Lagarenne said. “We didn’t have as many players but now we have a lot of committed players. Everyone is out here to win. [Even though] we’re doing ok…there are times when we wished we were doing better but it is going to come with time and a lot of work.”

“I think we’ve been doing a lot better, as a team. Our offense has clicked better since the beginning of the season, more so than our defense. I think we have been doing 10 times better than we did in the beginning,” sophomore guard Alisa Siderio said.

Since the beginning of the season, the Lady Cavs have been working very hard to make their PAC championship dreams a reality. With help from the newly installed coaching staff, the team has managed to post a record of 8-8 on the season and 4-5 in the PAC.

The new coaching staff came about as a result of head coach Darlene Hildebrand resigning over the summer as well as the rest of her staff leaving for various other reasons.

Replacing her in the summer of 2004 was Barbara “Bobbi” Morgan. During her illustrious high school career, Coach Morgan managed to compile a record of 326-139 with a winning percentage of .701. Assisting her is 30-year coaching veteran Fran Burbidge, two-time Kodak All-American Kate Pierangeli and recent Penn State graduate Caroline Tarves.

Thus far, the new coaching staff has been working out rather well for the team. “I think they have been working out very well with everything,” Siderio said. “Bobbi is a very good coach…she’s taught me a lot more, even being a sophomore in college, a lot more than what I knew before. I think they’re one of the greatest coaching staffs I’ve ever had.”

This is an opinion that is echoed by team captain Jackie Yoder, “They’ve been giving us the tools, the drills, just everything we need to come together as a team [to] just work hard and push ourselves.”

As for the rest of the season, Yoder has a positive outlook on how the team will do. “For the rest of the season, we’re looking to just finish out with the teams we have left. We have a good chance at beating all of the teams left on our schedule. And post-season, we want to go to the playoffs and obviously win the PAC.”

Nevertheless, this could be a little difficult due to the team’s problems on the defensive side of the basketball. “We really need to pick up our defense,” Yoder said. “We’re finally getting our offense to click and come together but now our defense is starting to slack that’s going be our biggest key on getting to the post season.”

Despite the team’s problems defensively, they are still a team that is very much hungry to hit the court and come home PAC champs. “I know we want it and our hearts [are] there and we’re just putting our foot down. We’re just saying this is what we want and this is what is going to happen,” Lagarenne said.

Nonetheless, one of the keys to the team’s victory is their unity and closeness as a team. In the beginning, Captain Jackie Yoder said that even though the team was close, they were still very much strangers toward one another. Looking back on that now, it is safe to say that that has very much changed.

According to freshman forward Erin Lagarenne, “There’s a great team bond. The relationships between the players and the coaches are really, really great. We all work hard together and practice. We all stay in contact with each another whether it’s off the court or on the court. We’re all best friends.”

Posted to the web by Shawn Rice

Paul Nasella

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