Women’s basketball is hopeful as playoffs approach

Annika Bahnsen, Sports Editor

The regular season has ended for the women’s basketball team here at Westmont, and that means one thing for these hard-working athletes: it’s time to win the national championship … again.

Coming off an amazing 2021 season that ended in a National Championship title, the women of Westmont basketball are hopeful as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) playoffs commence on March 11. With the opening rounds hosted by Westmont, a new and exciting energy has emerged from the team.

When asked about their motivation going into the playoffs, third-year Sydney Brown mentioned a quote from John Wooden, a collegiate basketball hall-of-fame coach, that has been their driving force. 

“John Wooden’s definition of success is ‘success is peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.’ Each of us are getting extra shots, studying plays, watching film and coming into practice every day with the goal of becoming the best we can be for our teammates so that we’re an even more deadly team to face at nationals.”

With this passion in mind, the team reflects on some of the challenges they’ve faced during this season. Most recently, the team has been hit pretty hard with COVID-19 cases as well as injuries. Keeping the players healthy is something they all agree on, especially as the most important time of the year approaches. 

Fourth-year Stefanie Berberabe really emphasized the importance of health. She said: “The biggest challenge for our team is probably getting our bodies healthy. We just need to recover and get our bodies right so we can play five games in one week in the National Tournament. We need to take care of ourselves and take care of business.”

In regard to how they will achieve their goals for the playoffs, they have one thing on their mind: fight. The women are coming off a tough loss to The Master’s University in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Championship, but they will not let that deter them from going far in the playoffs. Berberabe mentioned they want to go into this phase of the season with “no regrets and giving it our all.” 

Brown ended with this quote that perfectly sums up the players’ hopes for these next few weeks: “We’ve done the work this year, now it’s time to go fight for what we’ve been working towards all summer and all year since our 2021 Title.”

The women will play their opening round NAIA playoff match on March 11, here at Westmont’s Murchison Gym. The time and opponent are currently TBD, but the Westmont community is excited to host and cheer on our athletes.

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