Women’s basketball says team needs “urgency” to finish season strong

Elly Cosgrove

With only six games left in regular season ODAC play, the Washington and Lee women’s basketball team plans to play with determination and perseverance.

“We need to play with urgency for the full forty minutes in our remaining games,” Captain Emily Perszyk, ’18, said. “We’ve been able to come back from deficits against tough teams or take an early lead, but have then struggled with complacency.”

With the way ODAC rankings are stacked right now for women’s basketball, there is no room for complacency. As of Jan. 26, the Generals were tied for fifth with four other ODAC programs, all with a 5-4 conference record. A win could propel the Generals to the top of the ODAC and a loss could catapult them close to the bottom of the standings.

“The ODAC is wide open,” Perszyk said. “Not a single team remains undefeated.”

Not only is the team planning to play with a sense of urgency, but also with consistency and as a team, according to Perszyk, who plays guard for the Generals.

This has been difficult, however, with the short roster the Generals have faced all season. Multiple players are permanently out for the 2017-18 season, including Hayden Johnson, ‘18, Andrea Ferrero, ’18, and Catherine Hoy, ‘19, while other players have battled injuries and sicknesses periodically.

“I have been impressed by our depth throughout the season,” Perszyk said about the Generals, despite their short roster, “from young players stepping up to upperclassmen leadership proving strong.”

One of those young players who has stepped up this season is guard Erin Hughes, ’21. She said the hardest part of collegiate basketball has been adjusting to the game.

“I have definitely had to step up the defensive intensity from high school,” she said. “I still have a lot of work ahead of me.”

But Hughes, who is currently averaging 6.9 points per game, has proven to be an asset to the Blue and White, alongside two other young guards, Katie Popp, ’21, and Taylor Casey, ’20. Notable senior leadership has come from forwards Emma Redding, ‘18, and Ailyn Kelly, ‘18.

Despite the restricted roster, the team has proven it can battle hard with two overtime wins against two strong programs, Birmingham Southern and Piedmont.

According to Hughes, the team’s goal is to win an ODAC championship.

“We have already proven that we can beat some of the better teams in the ODAC, so we just need to finish out the season strong,” she said.

Mentioned earlier, ODAC rankings for women’s basketball are very tight, so it is really anyone’s game as to who finishes on top. The Generals will take the court at home on Jan. 30 against Randolph.