Photo by Matthew Claybrook
On Saturday, Feb. 2, junior forward Abigail Holland scored her 1000th career point for Trinity University’s women’s basketball team. She is part of an elite 18 players for Trinity Women’s basketball to have done so.
“Coming into Trinity,” Holland said. “I wanted to achieve that goal. I had achieved it in high school and wanted to do it again. But I hadn’t been keeping track of it. That’s not something I do. But the night before the game my parents said, ‘Hey, you’re only a couple points off from 1000, you should go for it,’ and luckily, I did it. I am glad that I achieved that milestone.”
Holland has been putting up excellent numbers in an impressive season for the Women’s Basketball team: she’s averaging 16 points, six rebounds and two assists per game. In the Tigers’ last game against Southwestern University, she lead the team with 22 points and nine rebounds. Her head coach, Cameron Hill, is well aware of the special player he has in Holland.
“Abby is driven,” said Hill. “She expects to win. I would love to tell you that it comes from something she has learned here, but I really think it is from her belief in herself and her ability to work harder and ultimately be better than whatever or whomever she is competing with. And she is.”
These same sentiments are shared by Holland’s teammate, senior guard Rachel Chavez.
“Abby is a great teammate,” said Chavez, “She’s competitive, hard-working, but she is also caring. She sets an example for our fours and fives, especially because she is the only upperclassman in that position. She pushes everyone to work hard in a positive way.”
Chavez has been present through Holland’s growth in the program, having played with her for three years.
“It’s awesome to see how much she has grown as a player and as a person,” said Chavez. “She has always been talented, but her confidence has grown and it really shows. She has also stepped up in a leadership role this year, and she’s natural at it. It’s been cool playing with her from her freshman year because we know each other’s tendencies and style of play.”
But this hasn’t been Holland’s or the team’s only good season: their program has had many a good season.
“We have a standard for our program and we make sure to keep that standard where it is,” said Holland, “We’ve won the SCAC championship three years in a row, and we plan to continue that. But we also have a lot of new faces, we have seven new first-years and transfers. So we have been working to balance the success of the past seasons with the new additions to the team.”
The new first-year class has also seen a lot of game time and been essential to the Tigers’ push for the top spot in SCAC. In the team’s last game against Southwestern University, first-year players averaged 14 minutes, four points and one rebound. When I asked Holland how this new class had acclimated to Trinity basketball, she had nothing but positive things to say.
“The first-years are awesome,” said Holland, “They contribute to our team on and off the court. We definitely mesh as a unit.”
The Tigers have utilized this well-rounded squad to put together a 19–4 record and sitting jointly on top of the conference with Austin College at 12–2 in conference play. The team also had a 10-game win streak that lasted for over a month and are currently on a four-game win streak.
Holland has been a big part of this teams consistent success. To maintain this form, Holland focuses her mind before games through routine.
“When it’s game day, that’s the only thing I focus on — nothing else really matters,” said Holland. “I’ll get to the gym about two hours before the game, get some shots up before and then listen to some music. Then I’ll head to the training room and do my routine.”
This level of focus from Holland has helped her team to an undefeated home record this season.
When asked about their goals for the rest of the season, both Hill and the team shared one common philosophy: taking it one game at a time.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” said Chavez. “We have been working hard at practice and looking forward to the SCAC [Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference] tournament.”
“Talking about anything other than the Schreiner game would compromise everything we stand for, which is giving our full attention to the challenge of the day,” said Hill.
Holland’s answer, however, had the competitive, driven edge that her teammates and coach see in her.
“The goal is obviously to win a National Championship,” said Holland, “That’s always the goal. In the time I’m here, I want to win a National Championship. We came up short last year and we want to go as far as we can. The goal is always to do the best we can as a team, and I think we can go pretty far in the tournament.”
Even with all the success Holland and the Tigers have already achieved this season, Holland is always looking towards the future. Trinity captured the title back in 2003, and you can be sure the team is looking to add another accolade to their already revered program.
Catch Holland and the Tigers as they enter their final stretch of regular season games in the coming weeks. Their next game is Saturday, February 16th against the University of Dallas at 4 p.m. in Calgaard Gymnasium.