By Kameran Evans
The women’s basketball program has struggled to become a dreaded force in the CAC conference. Five games into the season, unfortunately the girls have not yet won a game, but it is evident they are progressively improving and the program is experiencing a newborn pride.
Junior guard, Emily Meyers, said, “We are a young team. We lost three of our top five scorers from last year, so this is a transition year but we will continue to improve as people gain experience. Everyone wants to be here. We are all excited and working hard.”
The third game at Waynesburg, Meyers was five for seven from the three coming off the bench. “The team is pretty young, so we have work to do but we are moving in the right direction,” said Jessica Talley, a junior forward. The team needs “to work on finishing, she added. “We allow ourselves to get in wholes which are hard to come back from, but last game we remained close throughout the game.”
Talley pulled down ten rebounds against Shenandoah. Junior guard Dyana Prater is currently ranked 7th in leading scorers in the Capital Athletic Conference with 11.8 points per game.
Meyers and freshmen center Rachel Wiley are among the top 25 of the leading scorers as well. Wiley also averages nearly 10 rebounds a game. Junior Heather Boyce and freshman Briana Lee are still adjusting to the season offensively but provide great defense.
Once the shots begin to fall consistently from the field and free throw line, the Women’s team may be a top CAC contender. This confidence on and off the court is partly due to the new coach. Meyers describes the first-year Hood head coach as “experienced, enthusiastic, positive attitude, which translates to everyone on the team.”
Prater, Meyers and Talley have gone into their junior seasons with an almost entirely new coaching staff than prior years. Talley says, “I’ve adapted well to the coaching staff, they are all about improving this program and trying to help us improve everyday.”
Both players agree the new gym has played a major role in the program’s transition. “The new gym has changed my outlook on the program because I feel as though we are actually a program,” said Talley. You cannot be a serious program without a gym you can call your own.”
The new gym “creates an actual home court advantage,” said Meyers. “It feels like we are playing at home rather than all away games. It is a better atmosphere,”
The team lost the first CAC game only by 9 points. With five games until the new year, the girls will play winnable games with a chance to break even.