W&L women’s basketball fights for top conference seed after breaking undefeated streak

The team boasts a talented freshman class and solid senior members that help lead them in a strong season


The Generals fell short 66-52 in their first conference loss this season against the Shenandoah Hornets. Photo courtesy of Generals Sports.

Teddy Jacobsen, Staff Writer

The Washington and Lee University women’s basketball team is on pace for another dominant season. Boasting a 12-5 overall record and only one-half of a game back from first place in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, the team has a confident outlook going into the last month of the regular season.
Forward Grace O’Connor, ‘24, said the team was quick to overcome some uncertainty they had at the beginning of the season with seven new first year players. In particular, forward Mary Schleusner, ‘26, has been a standout, breaking the program record for rebounds in a game (23) and leading the team in points per game (14.2), rebounds per game (11.4), and blocks per game (2.7).
“[Schleusner] has really stepped into her role,” O’Connor said. “She’s going to keep learning, which will be scary for the rest of the ODAC.”
O’Connor leads the team in assists per game (3.1). She said her role has shifted this season as an upperclassman. Guard Hanna Malik, ‘24, said she feels the same growing pains that come with a younger team.
Even as a younger team, the Generals still have strong leadership from its senior class. Malik said guard Ana Dorta, ‘23, exemplifies exactly what you want as a leader.
“If I have to look up to somebody or if I have to talk to somebody, I go to Ana,” Malik said.
Shenandoah University broke the General’s nine-game undefeated stint of conference games last Wednesday. Malik said the team will bounce back and use the loss as a learning opportunity to remember to take each game as it comes.
“We can’t expect to go into every ODAC game and win just because we think we’re more talented,” Malik said.
The Generals experienced another tough loss a couple weeks ago against the undefeated number one team in the country, Christopher Newport University. The miraculous double-overtime game could have ended in just one. But a technical foul assessed to a member of the CNU coaching staff just after the buzzer awarded Malik was awarded two free throw attempts. She made both.
Malik, who tied her career record of 29 points in the game, said the team played some of its best basketball of the season against the number one seed. O’Connor said the team’s momentum came from an attitude of having nothing to lose and taking advantage of the weird calls down the stretch.
With eight more games left in the regular season, the Generals look to regain the number one seed for the ODAC tournament at the end of February.