The roster of the CC women’s basketball team may only boast nine players, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have high expectations for the year.
“March madness, here we come!” said senior Captain Marissa Gradoz.
The team is young, as four of their nine players are freshmen. That said, preseason is going well, according to senior Hanna Hoopingarner, and they cannot wait for their first game on Nov. 16.
“This year’s team is full of great girls,” Hoopingarner said. “It is definitely one of the best teams we have ever played on.”
Head Coach Liz Doran agreed about the strength of the team.
“I am very excited about the upcoming season, we have a great group of girls who are really working hard and supporting each other,” Doran said. “Even though we are just a few weeks into our season, the team has come together very well. We are working hard to challenge for an SCAC title.”
This past weekend, the women’s team had their first scrimmage.
“Our seniors played well. It was great to get Kalli back out on the court in game action [after being limited by injuries],, Marissa was tough as usual, and Sarah Gunkel provided strength on the interior.” Doran said. She was also pleased with the performances by her underclassmen
Doran is in her fifth season of coaching for CC and her eleventh season of coaching women’s basketball. She is very complimentary about her players.
“The players on this team are what makes the women’s basketball team special,” Doran said. “I really enjoy working with all of them—they are highly motivated and intelligent and just a lot of fun to work with. Every day we practice they are striving to improve.”
And these girls are hoping for a ton of support this season.
“[We love] seeing our fans get rowdy at our home games,” Gradoz said.
Neither of these seniors said that they can believe it is their final season here.
“It is weird because it makes me feel old,” Gradoz said. “The first day of practice freshman year feels like yesterday, but we are all so excited to be able to teach our new team mates and we look forward to a successful season.”
“After having my second surgery this summer and knowing I couldn’t play this season, it means a lot that I can still be involved with the team for my senior year and I’m super excited,” said Hoopingarner, who had her second ACL surgery this summer and is helping as a student coach this year.
Last year, the Tigers made it to the conference championship, and this year they want to win it.
“Our conference is completely different now, we have a new gym, and a new coaching staff so there is a lot that is different this year but it has put us in a greater position to succeed,” Hoopingarner said.