Women’s basketball reloads for 2016-2017 campaign

Jacob Bushey, Reporter

Adekale Ande, Editor

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Photos contributed by Jacob Bushey | COM 250 reporter 
Women’s basketball huddles up during practice to discuss a play drawn up by Coach Dunn.

The Berry College women’s basketball team plans to redeem themselves after a losing season last year with the help of new recruits.

The women’s basketball team had a tough season last year, winning only eight of their 26 games. Before starting the season, players had low expectations because there was only one returning senior, Valerie McLure. After seeing McLure in action with the new recruits, thoughts about the outcome of the season changed. The Vikings now have high hopes of winning the conference championship and advancing to the NCAA tournament.

“I don’t think there will be any problems only having one senior on the team,” freshman Eveline Parsons said. “Valerie is a really good captain, and she knows how to keep us motivated, and I think she will lead us to the conference championship.” 

The Vikings added six new recruits to the roster this season that have completely different strengths. Returners believe that these six players will re-energize the team and help them recover from a losing season last year. The four new guards will contribute to Berry’s up-tempo style of play, while the two post players add a rebounding presence inside the paint. 

“I think all of the freshmen this year have something important to bring to the team,” McLure said. “This freshman class is very solid and they all have very unique abilities.”

The Vikings also have a strong group of returning players. The five juniors and four sophomores will set a strong foundation for the new players. The head coach of the team, Stephanie Dunn, has set high expectations for the returning players to persuade them to help lead the team.

“We’ve been grooming some of these young ladies for the last two years to be leaders,” Dunn said. “I think they’ll step up and help lead the team this year.”

With 24 games this season the team knows that there is less room to improve their record from last year. But that doesn’t slow down their motivation.

Practices have started and the women’s basketball season will begin with a home game against Wesleyan College on Nov.  15. The team has high expectations for the upcoming season. Their hunger to win the conference championship and possibly move onto the NCAA Tournament is the motor behind the team. They believe that the returners and the diverse recruits will lead them to that position.

While the team only has six  home games before and during Christmas break and four home games after the break, they are confident that this season will be one to remember.

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