Women’s basketball ends a hard-fought season

Annika Bahnsen, Sports Editor

After a long, tough, four-month journey, the Westmont women’s basketball season came to a close in Sioux City, Iowa. Last week, the Warriors competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championship tournament, ending their run at the round of 16. 

Before this loss, the women competed in the opening rounds of the NAIA tournament, facing off against 64 teams who were just as hungry for a championship title. Unlike the other teams, though, the Warriors had a slight advantage in the first game, as the opening rounds of the NAIA tournament were played here, at Westmont. This unique experience of playing in the playoffs at a home site served the women well, allowing them to start out strong in the tournament.

First-year Haylie Dermer spoke on the importance of having the first couple games in a familiar space: “It was really encouraging to be able to play at Westmont for the opening round, knowing that the majority of the people there were rooting for us to win! We were able to feed off of everyone’s energy in the gym and pull out a win for our game!”

They beat Westcliff University easily in the first game, 62-47. They then came away with an exciting win against the University of Science and Arts in a close game, winning only by three points with a final score of 50-47. These two wins allowed the women to move on to the rest of the tournament in Iowa. 

The women played Central Methodist University from Fayette, Missouri on March 18. It was a tough game for the Warriors, back and forth from start to finish, but the women battled hard. Fourth-year Stefanie Berberabe led the Warriors on the court, ending the game with 25 points and four assists. Additionally, third-year Iyree Jarrett put up 14 points, two of which were from behind the three-point line. 

Although the women fought hard to the last minute, their efforts fell short against Central Methodist, losing with a final score of 71-65. 

“There were a lot of mixed emotions after the game,” explained Dermer. “We were all sad because our season had ended and it would be the last time playing with some of the seniors, but we were also proud because of what we had accomplished through so many trials like [COVID-19] and having to forfeit games because of it.”

Jarrett also added her thoughts after the game ended: “We were definitely disappointed about the end of the last game. I think we’re all pretty competitive and we know we could’ve gone further, but we were super grateful to make it to the sweet sixteen, though, and it was cool to play the first two rounds on our home court.”

Even though the women did not end with the result they desired, they keep their heads held high, looking forward to what the next season holds. The Westmont community congratulates the women on a well-fought season and are excited to see what comes next!

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