Last year, the Marist women’s basketball team was young and exciting to watch, finishing with a record of 11-9 in conference, 15-17 overall. During the offseason, the team only lost one player, Kendall Baab who graduated last May. This year, the Red Foxes look to improve on their record with a more experienced roster, something that looks to play a huge role in their success this year.
Teams need chemistry. It’s fuel that helps to bolster a fire otherwise known a young, new season. Entering this season, the team has a great opportunity to build on such chemistry considering the number of returning players. Their roster consists of three seniors including captain Allie Clement, five juniors, four sophomores, and two freshmen, all of whom can be productive.
“Seeing that we’re deep this year, hopefully, we will stay that way, have more subs and fresh legs by the end of the games,” said Rebekah Hand, the team’s starting two-guard. “We have been practicing hard, we have been looking good, so we are just really excited to get started this year.”
Claire Oberdorf, Allie Clement, Hannah Hand and Molly Smith will all be returning from injury, another exciting component of the team’s upcoming season.
“Our expectations are the same every year: to win a MAAC Championship and get in the NCAA tournament,” coach Brian Giorgis said.
While the team’s goal is clear, the players are focused on individual development as well.“It’s still early so we are focused on working as a team and helping out the freshman,” guard Maura Fitzpatrick said. Forward Alana Gilmer said that though she was proud of her performance last year, she is looking to improve on a few facets of her game this season. “Be more defensive minded, rebounding, and work on my outside shooting,” said Gilmer.
Gilmer transferred to Marist from Virginia Tech and feels as though she has finally found a home. “There are definitely a lot of differences between [Virginia Tech and Marist], but they’re all positive,” Gilmer said. “Marist is a more family oriented team… coach Giorgis and the whole staff is extremely personable… they actually care about your well-being; they want to see you succeed, not only on the court but also in your everyday life.” This bond is imperative, not solely for Gilmer, but for her teammates as well. “Our team is really close… these girls are my best friends,” Fitzpatrick said. “I love our coaches because even though they are hard on us, we know they really care about us.”
Their first home game will be held in McCann Arena on Friday, November 16 against Boston University at 7 p.m. With depth, chemistry and experience on their side, this team may have a legitimate shot at making it back to the MAAC championship. This time, a win may be in the cards.
Edited by Will Bjarnar
“Hannah Hand and Molly Smith will all be returning from injury” – we have seen Clement and Oberdorf on the court – is there a time frame for Hannah & Molly?