Thursday, November 10, 2011

Women believe big

By Elyse Glahn, Guest Reporter

The Pacific Lutheran women’s basketball team has been getting ready for this season for the last three weeks and Head Coach Kelly Robinson said they are expected to do great things.

Last year, the women’s basketball team record was 7-18. They took seventh place in the Northwest Conference.

“The girls come in every day and compete, ready to get better,” Robinson said. “If they do that, they’ll be a successful team and the pieces will fall together.”

Robinson said she has been preparing the team with weight lifting sessions and other conditioning drills.

“We practice individual skills like shooting, rebounding, ball handling, as well as more complex situations, like what to do when we are down two with 15 seconds left,” Robinson said.

Along with working out together, the athletes have also been bonding.

“We have a lot of new talent coming in, it will be fun to connect and make big things happen,” co- captain junior Mackenzie Bieker said.

A passion for the game is bringing the team together and building friendships among the teammates.

“With only 11 girls on the team, that alone brings us together,” Co-captain senior said Backstrom.

According to Backstrom, 11 girls is considered small for a college team.

“We as a team spend a lot of time outside of basketball bonding,” Backstrom said. “We like to have family dinners at the UC, attend events together and simply spend downtime having fun.”

Backstrom has been playing basketball since early childhood and has learned much from the game.

“I’ve learned how to motivate everyone, and that there’s a lot of passion on this team,” Backstrom said.

Robinson said the team’s goal is to make top three in Conference, despite the poor coach’s poll rating.

“When the team knows I believe in them, they believe in themselves,” Robinson said. “I’ve seen it game by game, season by season, and they feel more confident.”

Robinson said she is hopeful a fresh season will yield new results.

“I feel like we are at a different point to start the season this year than we were in the past, and it goes back to the expectations of competing and getting better,” Robinson said. “It’s important to have support from the student body, because so much student energy feeds directly into our success.”

The team’s first game is Nov. 18 at home against University of California Santa Cruz.