By Ryan Fitzgerald and Shapleigh Webster – Sports and Copy Editors
The women’s basketball team opened its season Friday, November 13, losing to Eastern Nazarene 56-47. But this year, the team is not focused on the win and loss column.
“Our success this season will not be defined by our record,” said Coach Todd Montana, who is in his second year as head coach of the program. “We don’t really have set goals this season, we just want to walk into the gym everyday and get better.”
The team is a healthy mix of upperclassmen, sophomores, and four freshmen. Montana enjoys having freshmen and sophomores on the team who can learn from the seniors. “If you want to be a good program, you want your younger players to build themselves so they can step in and take place of the seniors once they graduate,” he said. Montana describes the team as an intelligent, competitive squad that has great chemistry, even with a new makeup.
“We have team dinners, team bonding on and off the court, and we are playing well together,” said senior forward Breeana Williams. Williams is currently out with a neck injury that occurred at the end of last season, but hopes to be back in a few weeks. “This season, we plan on making women’s basketball known on campus,” said Williams.
Though they began the season with a loss, the team bounced back in their second game with an 81-46 victory over out-of-conference Mount Holyoke.
“We don’t start conference play until after [winter] break so we have plenty of time to make any adjustments or improvements we need to prove the GNAC Coaches Yearly Poll wrong,” said senior guard Deanna Barrett. The team was voted eighth in the poll out of 12.
” I think everyone is doubting us and looking past us because of past seasons, but they are in for a rude awakening,” said senior guard Beka Costa. “We go to practice every day hungry to get better. Derek Jeter once said, ‘I love when people doubt me. It makes me work harder to prove them wrong,’ and that is exactly what we plan to do.”
Coach Aaron Galletta enters another season as head coach of the men’s basketball team, and feels his team is prepared to compete in the GNAC this season. “I’m one of those lunatics who watches film in the summer,” Galletta said. “Watching pro teams, incorporating different concepts, preparation coming out of timeouts, reading books, anything to get better.”
Galletta noticed the work his players had dedicated in their off-season as well. “Our returners worked hard and we brought in some guys who can help our program improve,” he said. The team welcomes seven freshmen and one transfer this year, along with nine returners from last season.
“I’m happy where we are, guys are competing in practice and we have to work to be able to compete in a tough league this year,” said Galletta. “We’re focusing on getting better day by day, one game at a time, not looking too far ahead.”
The Lasers lost their opener 74-72 on Tuesday, November 17, despite leading most of the hard fought contest against Babson, a team ranked 10 in Division III basketball. Before the game senior Pat Marchand said, “It’s very exciting, we get the first shot at them [and] we have nothing to lose so we’re just going to go out and play ball.”
The players are set on competing for the GNAC title this year, and if their first game is any indication, they’re poised to do so. “We have what it takes, this is the year we could definitely do it,” said senior Logan Liberty.