PAULA CAPUTO — General Assignment Reporter
A unanimous decision from the Owls women’s basketball team placed senior Alex Fiola into the role as a solo team captain.
“To be captain is pretty much just like a leadership role to me,” Fiola said. “I try to set a good example every day in practice and outside the court of how we want to conduct our program and just be a role model and someone that the rest of the team can come to if they have any issues or problems.”
The Owls are currently 17-4 with a 14-3 record in the Northeast-10 Conference. Fiola said team unity is the reason for the team’s domination, including a 15-game winning streak that just ended Saturday in a game against the College of Saint Rose.
“I think our success comes from getting our team chemistry,” Fiola said. “We really all like each other a lot, we get along; we pretty much are together all the time. It has a big part in why we are so successful.”
Fiola said she credits her father with why she started playing basketball. He introduced her to the sport and she never looked back. Fiola said she also took a liking to soccer, softball, and swimming, but they just didn’t compare.
“I liked it more than swimming because it was a team sport,” Fiola said. “You have to depend on each other to be successful, and I was better at it than any of the other sports.”
Head women’s basketball coach Meghan Brown said Fiola is of tremendous importance to the team.
“I think the fact that Alex is so unselfish makes her a huge asset for the team,” Brown said, “with her leadership and her understanding of what she has to do to help the team be successful. Every night is different and match-ups are different. She’s a very steady player, she’s extremely consistent. You know what you’re going to get from her every night; I trust her.”
Brown said Fiola is a great example of what a women’s basketball athlete is for the Southern program. According to Brown, Fiola’s personality on and off the court is second-to-none.
“She’s one of the most dedicated, hard-working athletes I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach,” Brown said. “Everything she has she’s worked for and she’s committed herself in the off-season.”
Fiola is the complete package and a very special person, said Brown. She is kind, sincere, thoughtful, understanding and the type of athlete anyone would want on their team.
The Owls currently rank in the top 10 nationally among Division II programs in two categories. They are sixth in turnover margin and eighth in steals per game. Fellow guard Camille Fantini said Fiola is a crucial part of the team’s achievements so far this season.
“She is a good leader and motivator,” Fantini said. “I look up to her; she is really smart and a great leader. She is someone who is going to be very successful in life out of college because of her great work ethic.”
Fantini said the 15-game win streak can definitely be attributed to the blood, sweat and tears Fiola puts into the game.
“She is a huge part of this winning streak. She works hard every day,” Fantini said. “She understands the game real well and is very smart on the court.”
Fiola said her four years of experience at Southern has aided her in her transformation into a mature adult and has taught her many life lessons she can bring into the real world.
“I’ve learned so much about myself, about being a leader, about being a team member,” Fiola said. “I had to mature quickly over the first few years because we had some tough times, and I learned a lot about myself.”