Entering into the season with young talent, the women basketball players and coaching staff knew they were in for a building year with the tough competition they faced in the Northwest Conference.
Having graduated all their seniors last season, Coach Sharon Rissmiller knew her players had some big shoes to fill, but that it wouldn’t be easy.
With starter Erica Schultz studying abroad for almost half the season and junior Brittney Anderson out from the beginning of the season with a reoccurring knee injury, Rissmiller was concerned with the amount of experience that would be on the floor.
Needless to say, “the team has made huge progress in gaining experience and we are still learning, even at the end of the season, “said Rissmiller.
With only six women that returned, Rissmiller did her best with recruiting and was able to find some good talent near and far from Forest Grove.
She said, “I knew this year was going to be tough because of our young team, but that only meant we needed to stay focused.”
Shultz cited the commitment that players had to improving as a major contribution to the team.
“The day after season ended last year, Kristen Corrales and Ashley Jacobs were in the gym and weight room in preparation for next season.”
“Every time I was in the weight room or gym, they were as well, getting a workout in or getting shots up. Both of them have worked very hard and earned their spots for playing time this season,” said Schultz.
Reflecting on their 6-17 NWC record Shultz said,“This season has been a dry season for wins, but we considered it a learning season for us.”
After the season ends this weekend, Schultz mentioned that Coach Rissmiller will have them do spring training with workouts and weights and open gyms at least three times a week, so they can get a head start to improve their weaknesses as a team.
“As a young team, we don’t have as much experience in a college game setting and I feel we need to work on finishing strong and continue to push for improvement,” said Rissmiller.
According to Rissmiller, it was encouraging to see other teams, such as the baseball team and the wrestling team in particular, come up and cheer the lady Boxers on, whether they were winning or losing.
She said the faculty and staff have shown tremendous support this season too.
The women’s basketball team will play in their final game of the season Sat. Feb. 19 at home against Whitworth University.
Tip off is at 6 p.m.