By: Giulia Barile
The Lancer women’s basketball team started their quest for another National Championship by topping the visiting Guelph Gryphons in convincing fashion.
A large crowd was in attendance on October 28 at the St. Denis Centre, to see a promising Windsor Lancers women’s basketball team earn a win in their first game of the season. It was not the start the home side envisioned, however, as they were down 21-12 after the first quarter and the nerves were on full display. The young team responded with a huge second quarter and never looked back, as they cruised to an 87-69 victory.
Fourth-year senior, Carly Steer, led the Lancers, shooting seven of eight from three-point range and scoring a game high 25 points. Her experience and leadership were evident throughout the game as she helped ease the pressure on the young players.
“We’re a really young team so it took a little bit of time for everyone to get the nerves out and get comfortable,” Steer said. “There is a lot of work to be done still.”
Following the game, the first set of Canadian National Rankings were released for the season and the Lancers found themselves ranked seventh overall. Still, Steer knows the season is young and there are many things to learn before making a run at the championship.
“I think we need to learn quickly because we are very young and there is a lot of information for these girls to take in,” Steer added. “We just have to take it one game at a time.”
Although the team may be considered young, there are still key veterans present that were part of the five consecutive National Championships between 2011 and 2015. Having these leaders mentor the fresh talent present within the team will be a critical component to yet another successful season.
Fifth year senior, Emily Prevost, finished the home opener with 17 points and was energizing the team all night long with her hustle. She was a member of the national champion team in both 2014 and 2015, and wants her last year as a Lancer to be a good one.
“My expectations don’t change from year to year,” Prevost explained. “I want to go to nationals.”
After analyzing their first game, assistant coach Emma Duinker knows that being more consistent is what is going to turn this good team into a great one.
“There are a lot of positive things about the home opener. The win was an important start for us to build some confidence, especially for the first year players,” coach Duinker said. “For this team to have success this year I think it will be about consistency.”
Duinker later explained how great it is to work with such a storied program, but it will take hard work and determination if the team wants to continue to be considered one of the best in the country.
“It is pretty cool to be part of such a successful program, but along with the prestige comes a lot of work. It’s fast paced and demanding but the challenge is exciting,” Duinker explained.
The Lancers will take what they learned in their first game and look to get another positive result in their next game as they hit the road to take on the Western Mustangs Friday November 10. The young players will have their next chance to get some experience and the team as a whole will try to establish some more chemistry.
Although the road ahead is long, this promising, young Lancer team is off to a good start and needs continued efforts and growth in order to earn another trip to the National Championship.
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