Tipping off the new season

Caleb Soto, Staff Writer

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Last season, the mighty Warriors women’s basketball team won the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament for the fourth straight year. After an unforeseen loss against LSU Alexandria at Nationals, the Warriors record was capped off at 24-8. 

Going into the 2019-2020 season, this team has stayed mostly intact with nine players returning from last season. The team refers to itself as “9STRONG” in reference to its roster size. When asked about team chemistry, Iyree Jarrett replied, “Team chemistry is something really unique … every person has a selfless heart.” More importantly, this camaraderie occurs on and off the court. They are a small team and will have to face many challenges with this limited lineup. 

A preseason injury to Sydney Brown was not one of the challenges the team hoped to face. However, that goes along with their team motto, “grit and gratitude.” Jarrett explained how important it is to “learn to be thankful and persistent through any kind of adversity that’s thrown at us.” That will be key for this team as they not only hope to take home a fifth straight GSAC Tournament title, but also bounce back from last year’s first round loss at the NAIA National Tournament.

This team is no stranger to success. Lauren Tsuneishi and Maud Ranger were a part of the squad that made it to the National Championship game in the 2017-2018 season. During the 2016-2017 season, Ranger played a role in that team’s trip to the quarterfinals of Nationals. Despite the fact that a majority of this year’s team is made up of sophomores, they still have experience, especially against the tough competition in GSAC.

In terms of expectations, “I think people don’t know what to expect from us. We’re a small team, but I think we’re mighty,” Jarrett said. Needless to say, these Warriors want to claim their five-peat as well as make a splash at Nationals.

The Warriors enter this new season with their mission statement of “as iron sharpens iron, we sharpen each other. We are Warriors, driven by passion, rising together.” Jarrett described this statement as the team’s goal for the year, with the purpose of it being to “underline who we want to be.”

Westmont will take this mindset into its home opener this Saturday against Northern New Mexico. Tip-off is at 10:30 a.m.