Today: Jun 17, 2024

Women’s Basketball determined to make NCAA Tournament

Jaylen Carr – Editor-in-Chief

With the season approaching, the women’s basketball team looks to bounce back from being eliminated in the quarterfinals to Assumption University.  

According to the NE10 Coaches Preseason Poll, the Owls are projected to be the fourth-best team in the conference.  

2023 NE10 Women’s Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll  

  1. Assumption  
  1. Bentley  
  1. Southern New Hampshire  
  1. Southern Connecticut  
  1. Pace  
  1. American International  
  1. Adelphi  
  1. New Haven  
  1. Saint Anselm  
  1. Franklin Pierce  
  1. Saint Rose  
  1. Saint Michael’s  

Despite the projection, the team lost their two top scorers from last year, Zoe Amalbert and Isabella Santoro.  

“This team was to compete for a championship this year,” Head Coach Kate Lynch said. “We have a lot of returning players this year and some great additions that have some experience.” 

The Owls finished with a 17-11 record last season, with 11 wins against conference teams. As the seventh-best team in the conference, the opening playoff game was against 10th-seed Adelphi University, which they won 72-66. The Owls have five new players on their team, Lynch said.  

Three of those five players are graduate transfers, a junior college transfer, and one freshman, Lynch said.  

Forward Katie Williamson, a senior who averaged 11.3 points per game and 6.9 rebounds, said she is excited to start the season.  

“We want to hold each other to a high standard,” Williamson said. “We want to make sure we hit the ground running.” 

Guard Jillian Martin, a senior, said the NE10 title is on the mind of everyone, and hopefully, the team can qualify for the NCAA Division II tournament.   

“Hopefully we can get a National Championship,” Martin said.  

Williamson said all 15 players on the roster must prepare and be ready for the upcoming competition. 

Lynch said, “As long as we can stay injury-free and we can stay together, it’s a long season.” 

Toughness and focus will be critical for the team to make the NE10 playoffs, Lynch said., “We talk about making sure we are all rowing in the same direction every day; if we’re not, some other team might be doing that.” 

Lynch said the coaching staff has been working with the players to focus on the little things and to be consistent through an entire 29-game season.  

In terms of Lynch’s coaching style, Lynch said every year is different, but the team is changing how they play.  

“I really feel like we have the ability to press a little bit more this year and to run a little bit more this year, so we have been working on those things,” Lynch said.  

The Owls are working to be a much faster-paced team compared to years previous, Lynch said.  

Some team players also set individual goals for themselves for this upcoming season.  

Martin, a team captain, said, “Of course, I have individual goals, but I am focusing on getting my team to where we need to be to hit the ground running at that starting first game.” 

Following the coach’s message and continuing to perfect her role are the things Williamson said she is continuing to do this season.  

Williamson said she is excited about the exhibition game against the University of Connecticut and the rematch against NE10 rival Assumption University.  

Martin said she is eager to play city rival University of New Haven this season.  

As a captain of one of the teams’ captains, Williamson said, “Making sure I hold myself accountable as much as the team does.” 

Leading the team on and off the court is Williamson’s role on the team. 

Martin said, “For me, being a captain on this team is just being a leader for all the girls under, as well as the girls who are the same age.” 

“Come out to more home games at the fieldhouse and cheer us on,” Lynch said. 

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