Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Reigning WAC Champions Seek Second Title

    After finishing last season as the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) season champions and coming just one game shy of the NCAA tournament, the Seattle University women’s basketball team looks primed for another exciting season. The coaches of all WAC teams have picked the Redhawks as preseason favorites to win the conference once again and chose senior forward Kacie Sowell and senior guard Sylvia Shephard to be preseason all-stars.

    With the team’s recent success and high expectations, it only makes sense that other teams will be viewing the Redhawks as the team to beat in the WAC despite it being only their second year back in Division I.

    “The best thing that has happened to Seattle U was getting back to Division I,” said Seattle U Women’s Basketball Head Coach Joan Bonvicini. “Last season was big in a lot of respects-first time eligible to go to the post season, to come in and win the WAC was a big thing. We are a team with a mark on us.”

    In college basketball, team dynamics change every year and some may wonder how the Redhawks plan on making a repeat performance. However, it may be easier than it seems.

    “The nucleus of seniors is back. We have some sophomores and juniors back who have improved and are in different roles. We also have a lot of new young players,” Bonvicini pointed out.

    The returning players have the experience of last season to go off of and the new players are adjusting well. According to sophomore Catherine Perez, there are a few players that we should all look out for.

    “Kacie is the leader of the team and the two freshmen point guards [Kaley Best and Alexis Montgomery] have been doing a great job,” Perez said.
    The team played an exhibition game on Nov 3 in the Connolly Center against Central Washington where they got their first game action of the season to see where they stand.

    “This will be a test for us—they [Central Washington] are a hardworking team, going to come after us. Good for us to be at home and to measure us,” Bonvicini said before the game.

    The team was excited to be playing their first game at home. The Redhawks won every game in the North Court of Connolly last season and will be looking to repeat that success this time around. Although it was only an exhibition game, the team played just as well as they would in any other game. As sophomore Kristin Stoffel said prior to the exhibition, “It is our first real test to make our first statement.”

    The Redhawks made quite a statement with a 91-60 victory over Central Washington. Seattle U lead in almost every statistical category and outscored their opponent by 21 points in the second half. From start to finish, the Redhawks played a great game and will be entering the regular season with a lot of confidence.

    The team will begin their season with home games against Pepperdine and Washington State, followed by a game against fellow Seattleites at the University of Washington. After Thanksgiving break, the team will play Oregon, as well as a few others before heading into conference play. When asked which game they were looking forward to most, both Stoffel and Perez went with Idaho, the team that defeated them in the final match of the WAC tournament to advance to the NCAA tournament. Their home game on Feb 1 should be a fun one to watch.

    As Stoffel said, “Based off last year, they will be the biggest rivalry in our conference.”

    This year, the team is hoping to fill Connolly with Redhawk fans at each game. Anyone that attended Midnight Madness, the kickoff to Seattle University’s basketball season, knows that this year is sure to not disappoint. The players certainly enjoy playing in front of a supportive crowd.

    “We appreciate people coming out and supporting us,” Stoffel said. “We want to win for our school,” Perez added.

    Seattle U students should make sure to be a part of this season and go support the women’s basketball team. Their home opener will be taking place in Connolly this Friday.

    “We need fans to make Connolly the toughest place to come in,” Bonvicini said.

    The high-flying Redhawks appear ready to take on their high expectations and soar into a consecutive finish as the WAC season champions as they are poised to feed off their success from last year and take it even further.

    Perez stated, “Not making the NCAA tourney [last year] has provided us some fuel for this season; that is our goal. This year, we want to finish it out,” Stoffel said.

    The editor may reached at [email protected]

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