On a roll: W&L Women’s Basketball is 11-3 overall this season

On a roll: W&L Women’s Basketball is 11-3 overall this season

Courtesy of W&L Sports Information

Peter Rathmell

The Washington and Lee Women’s Basketball team has surged to its best start in years, opening the season with a 10-3 record. This comes on the heels of last year’s 6-19 finish. The reason for the team’s quick turnaround? Depth.

The Generals currently have 10 underclassmen (five first-years and five sophomores) on their roster, many of whom play significant roles on the court.  To put this in perspective: last season the Generals did not even have 10 players total.

“We have added several new players and have a much bigger roster,” said sophomore guard Jackie Clifford. “This really helps us run out on teams with fewer people.”

Clifford is currently the Generals’ leading scorer, netting 11.8 points per contest on average.

Beyond depth, the added first-years provide a wealth of skill sets, filling in gaps that have haunted the Generals in the past.  First-years Emily Perszyk and Andrea Ferrero provide their team with two much-needed threats from the outside, according to senior captain Annie Gauf. Additionally, first-years Ailyn Kelly and Emma Redding give the Generals a huge lift down low.

“Our depth allows us to utilize everybody and to adapt players’ strengths to match up well against other teams,”  said junior captain Katie Wildes.

The first-years have had to mature quickly in order to adjust to college-level play, as the Generals have already played two games in overtime. The team won both overtime match-ups.

“The two overtime games were eye opening as to how successful we can be under pressure,” said Wildes. “We have already overcome so much adversity… we’re not intimidated by anybody, and I believe we can compete with anybody and win.”

Despite falling to Eastern Mennonite University (11-2, 5-0) on Tuesday by a score of 70-58, the Generals are confident that the loss will not deter them from their ultimate goals: a top four finish in the ODAC and a first round bye in the conference tournament.

“People notice what we can do on the court,” said Clifford. “It is very possible for us to achieve our goal of finishing top four and teams are aware of how we turned it around.”

Be sure to support the Generals when they host the Virginia Wesleyan Marlins Saturday, Jan. 24, in a critical ODAC matchup.

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports information.