By Taylor Smith
The Ohio Wesleyan women’s basketball team is looking to prove coaches and fans wrong as the they plan to upset the season predictions.
The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) coaches’ poll predicted the Lady Bishops to finish sixth in the conference. Junior wing, Julia Grimsley said she knows the team can finish better.
“We were really young last year and we have matured and grown a lot since last year,” Grimsley said. “Predictions of finishing sixth in the conference doesn’t mean anything to me because it is just a prediction, anything can happen.”
The team is returning all their starters from last year as only one senior, Elyse Wenger, graduated last year. Grimsley said Wenger was very positive and always encouraging others, whether she was on or off the court.
“She was also a really hard worker and never took a rep off,” Grimsley said. “We plan on filling that hole by being loud on the bench and continuing to communicate and encourage each other on the court.”
Senior post Tamra Londot said it is a new year and, as a team, they’re focusing on mental toughness and game mode versus practice mode.
“We have different things that differentiate game mode versus practice,” Londot said.
Sophomore guard Sarah McQuade, an honorable mention all-conference pick for last year’s All-NCAC teams, said the team is looking to improve team communication and team chemistry on and off the court this season.
“This year were going to try and be a more disciplined defensive team and change our attitudes,” McQuade said. “We have been looking to stay positive and encouraging throughout any bumps in the road we may have. The coaches plan to let us loose during games because they will have the trust in us that we will be able to do what needs to be done in order to win.”
Grimsley said the team is continuing to work hard and getting better at the things they struggled with last season.
“We have pretty much the same routine as last year except we are more experienced and more mature from last year,” Grimsley said. “We also have a better understanding of what our intent is as a team, which is to use our opportunities to better ourselves everyday as a basketball player and individual.”
Londot said the freshmen players are fitting in great with the team.
“They really have the will to win and will do anything for the sake of team,” Londot said. “They have been participating in team workouts and leadership since the first week of school so they’ve learned the team dynamics.”
McQuade said all five of the freshmen are looking to contribute right away.
“They are giving us more depth in all positions and have fit in perfectly with our system,” McQuade said. “We all get along with each one of them and each one of them brings a positive attitude everyday to practice.”
Londot said the team to beat right now and always is Denison. She said DePauw and Wittenberg are also tough opponents.
Grimsley said the team plays in a very strong conference and can’t take any other team for granted.
“Our conference is unpredictable in the sense that ‘upsets’ happen all the time,” Grimsely said. “Therefore, we have to watch out for every team in the conference and bring our ‘A’ game every time we step on the court.”
“If one of our teammates struggles to bring their ‘A’ game and they are having an off day, then it is our job as a team and family to step up and help pick them back up.”
The Lady Bishops open their season tomorrow against Baldwin-Wallace College at the Franklin College Tip-Off.