Women’s basketball: A well-rounded team

Gretchen Scherrei, Staff Writer

As women’s basketball begins the season, the Warrior women are ready to win. More than that, the team is focusing on doing well emotionally, relationally and spiritually, while also doing their best athletically. 

The 2020-2021 athletic season of isolation proved challenging, yet the women pulled through and “went the entire season without anyone on our team getting sick,” shared second-year Aleena Cook.

The difficult year of mask mandates, social distancing and quarantining didn’t stop the women’s basketball team from eventually finding success. The team won the NAIA championship earlier this year in March, a cause for celebration for the team and the Westmont sports community as a whole. 

Coming off the great accomplishments of last year, Cook explained that the women aim to “not let the pressure and expectations change how [they] play or act on and off the court … [We] want to remain joyful and free throughout the season, while focusing on doing everything for the glory of God.”

As much as the team values winning on the court, the players also prioritize their relationships with God. This process involves prayer and devotional time before ever touching a ball at practice or a game. 

The women work and train together for successful games, but they’re also close off-court, creating a family-like culture. Cook shared that “everyone [on the team] cares about each other and is always putting others before themselves.” She said this attitude is reflected in the coaching staff as well.

The family dynamic creates an atmosphere of trust, which is important in this part of the season. The athletes trust each other to perform in practice, but also to add extra work and fitness training on their own. This extra work plays an important part in the team’s athletic victory. 

The women opened their season with an exhibition game against the University of California, Berkeley. The game was very close, but ended in a loss for the Warriors.

The team then commenced the regular season with a strong effort against the University of California, Merced, which resulted in a win.

The season will pick up through the rest of November and into December, with a tournament taking place during Christmas break.

The season then stretches into the new year, with competition getting more serious as it leads up to the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) tournament at the end of February. Depending on the team’s performance at the GSAC tournament, they could have another chance to play in the national championship tournament.

As the season progresses, the Westmont student body has the opportunity to attend 12 of the games at home. This is a great way to encourage the Warriors and show your support. “Having a community in the stands that we know are supporting us is such a game changer for us and makes everything more fun,” shared Cook. “You guys bring so much momentum!”

The women will play the University of Oregon in an exhibition match on Nov. 6 in Eugene, Oregon.

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