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On Campus with Women’s Basketball

Audrey Kough, Red & Black Campus Sports Writer


The women spent every day together over break regardless of if they had practice or not, which is a rare occurrence for the women’s team. Photo Courtesy W&J College

When the rest of campus headed home for the holiday break after finals, there were a few sports teams who stayed behind to continue their season. The women’s basketball team was one of the teams to stay. Before the holiday, the women had two games. One on Saturday, Dec. 17 where the team secured a win over Franciscan (63-58), and on Monday, Dec. 19 where the team had another successful win over Carnegie Mellon (56-48). The women had a short holiday, as they quickly returned to campus a little over a week later to get back in action for a game against York College. Being on campus, where the only activity to do was play basketball, the team was able to spend a lot of time together and create a strong bond. Sophomore and four-time PAC player of the week, Meghan Dryburgh, says, “During break, I feel like our team grew even closer together than it was before.”

The women spent every day together over break regardless of if they had practice or not, which is a rare occurrence for the women’s team. Dryburgh continues to reiterate on the bond of the team by saying, “Our team is so close, and I feel like that bond we have really helped us create chemistry on the court.” Stellanie Loutsion, freshman and two-time PAC player of the week add her own take on the closeness of the team by saying, “I think that we are all just so close and we all do everything together and that has been the culture since I got here.” The bond the women have created truly shows on the court as they have a 16-1 overall record and a 12-0 conference record (as of Jan. 18). Loutsion explains how their bond translates onto the court, “When it comes to playing, we aren’t afraid to push each other and it’s really easy to feed off of each other's energy on the court because of the strong culture that was built within us from the start.”

“Our team is so close, and I feel like that bond we have really helped us create chemistry on the court.” - Stellanie Loutsion, freshman and two-time PAC player of the week

When it comes to playing basketball, many players have earned recognition for their top-tier playing. Earning awards such PAC player of the week, PAC rookie of the week, and President of the week. During the week of Jan. 15, Dryburgh was recognized as USBWA Division III National Player of the Week. That same week, the W&J women’s basketball team was ranked in the top 25 of all Division III teams in the nation. This is the first time that the team has reached the top 25 since the 2009-2010 season. The women use their skill and teamwork on the court to become such a dominant force with a 14-game winning streak. But the talent they show on the court during games comes from the work that they put into their practice. Dryburgh gave an inside scoop on to how practices have been going. She says, “Practices and games have been going really well. We make sure that we stay focused and have high energy in practice so it can be transferred to games. So far, we are exactly where we want to be in terms of winning and I think that is because we have confidence coming into these games.”

With the women playing some many different teams, Loutsion explains how they can keep up and outcompete their opponents. She states, “Our coaches do a really good job making scouting reports and repping different breakdowns that apply to each team in practice.” The women try and practice to outplay the opponent that they will be playing next. This strategy has been successful for them. With the end of the season somewhat in sight, the women are hoping to continue to have a great season and win games. Ultimately, as the defending PAC Champions, they are looking to earn a back-to-back conference championship win. Dryburgh states her hopes for the rest of the season by stating, “Our ultimate goal is to win another PAC championship and I think that is very possible again this season.” Loutsion, hoping to earn and contribute to her first PAC championship, weighs in as well, saying, “I hope to see us continue to win and lead into winning the conference championship. I know we are all striving and motivated to succeed in the national championship as well.” At the end of the day, the women have made a bond with each other on and off the court.
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