FOR THE QC
The Whittier College Women’s Basketball team began their season on a high note, with a 3 – 0 winning streak in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Whittier went up against three competitive teams: Linfield College, Pacific University, and Colorado College, and came out with a successful victory on their home court. “I think my team came out with an extremely strong sense of togetherness, and playing for one another over these three games,” said second-year Guard Teani White.
With all of their hard work and dedication from practice, they have been satisfied with their outcomes from their first three games. “We’re still learning how to play with each other. It’s all about us. We have a lot of potential,” said Women’s Basketball Head Coach Roy Dow. As it is only the beginning of the season, Dow strongly believes his team has gained confidence over the first three wins against competitive teams. It has been a while, since the Poets have had an outstanding way to start their season. The team’s new additions will add to the momentum the returners have created.
Third-year Guard California “Cali” Cubel said, “Coach Dow recruits competitive players, so it is a competitive environment. We all want to win. If we all want this, then we’re all grinding hard.” Cubel believes that her teammates and herself benefit from hard work at practice so that they can show off all of their skills on the court. White sealed the Poet victory by making both of her clutch free throws to put her team ahead against Pacific, and would come up big defensively with a steal near half court to conclude the game. “It always feels good to know that you are contributing to the success of the team, but I wouldn’t have been in that position if it weren’t for my teammates,” said White. “We all picked it up in the second half of that game, allowing us to comeback and get the win.”
Although they have had great outcomes in their first three home games, they still want to make room for improvement as much possible. “Every day that we practice, we have an expectation to improve. Right now, we are trying to improve in all phases of the game,” said Dow. Not only is the team dedicated to being competitive, but they are also a team that they can call “family,” said Dow. “It is a family atmosphere.”
White believes it is a strength that can make them a stronger team than last year’s. “I think one of our strengths this year is having more players that are offensive and defensive threats. Our team consists of a lot of versatile players that can benefit the team in more than just one aspect when on the court, so it is nice to have more of that this year,” said White.
Coming in with enhanced strengths this season helps the Poets gain more confidence with what they do on the court. “We have versatility and depth. We have good length at all the positions. We have experienced players now,” said Dow. “We have players that understand how we want to play.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Poets will face La Verne for their first conference game. “It almost doesn’t matter who the opponent is because of where we’re at; it’s more about our team and how we play together,” said Coach Dow. Dow does not want to let the opponent interfere with how they feel about the way they will perform. He believes the team should always go into the court with full intensity.
White is excited for the first conference game against La Verne, but is making sure to not underestimate their style of play. She believes that if her team continues to play how they did in the past three games or even stronger, they can count on being 4 – 0 and 1 – 0 in SCIAC. Only a few games into the season, the Poets continue to put full effort and dedication into practice so that they can continue with outstanding outcomes when stepping out of the court. “It’s just about staying focused for the whole game and getting over those little bumps on the road,” said White.
Dow has no idea of the expectations for this season but hopes the best for the team. “I hope we have a successful season; that’s what we’ve been trying to build. I know we’re excited about it. I hope at the end of the year we are in position to get one of the four spots that puts us in the SCIAC Tournament. That is one of our goals.”