Womens basketball has high hopes for season

By Mathew Starner

Starting the season, women’s basketball shows promise that the only way they can go is up.

After a cancelled season two years ago and having as few as seven players on the team last year, the team has an incoming class of six first years, filling the roster with fourteen-player athletes to open the season.

“My goal was to recruit a large class of talented athletes,” Coach Ellen Thompson said. “I feel fortunate that I was able to get a great first year class after taking over the program in September of ’05.”

Captain Callie PaStarr ‘07, however, feels the new group of girls will take to the team in stride. “Many of the first years we have this year have come from competitive high school programs,” PaStarr said. “Where they were all leaders on their teams.”

The number of underclassmen on the team allows for promising growth on the team. “From what I’ve seen, they handle themselves pretty well,” PaStarr said. “And they will all get a lot of playing time, which will necessarily force them to mature more quickly into college players.”

Along with a high potential for talent with the incoming class, there is already chemistry building up on the team, as well, coming from other first years such as center Ann Baltzer ’10.

“She looks strong with the ball and has some good post moves,” said PaStarr. “She will also be a great personality on the team, which becomes so vital when everyone gets sick of coming to practice on a Saturday morning toward the end of the season.”

Thompson is also excited about the future team as a whole.
“We are working to create a positive environment and a culture of success,” Thompson said. “While this doesn’t happen overnight, we have put the right steps in place to achieve our goals.”

With the rising prospect of a competitive year, the team will also be returning to the MIAC after playing an independent schedule, finishing at 2-21, only beating Crown and Cal Tech.

The first time the Scots’ game at home comes on Nov 24 against Elmhurst, an opportunity to show how far the team has rebuilt in the last couple years.

PaStarr said she is optimistic, with a healthy team as the biggest worry.
“I think we’ll win many more games this year than we did last year and be competitive in a number of others,” she said. “I think that the real limiting factor, as with any team, will be injuries. It is always really hard to get through a season if you have a number of players out, and I feel like that tends to be an inevitability.”

Among the health problems is Trina PaStarr ’10 already suffering a broken arm. She only expects to be out for a few weeks though.

The outlook, as well, looks greater for the team for improvement over a difficult recent history, and Thompson looks to lead the women with her direction.
” I want this team to become a stronger force in our conference, and be competitive in each game,” she said.