The women’s basketball team has launched their preseason starting with their Midnight Madness pep rally.
The Midnight Madness event was a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project as well as a way for the men’s and women’s team to show off their skills with some competitions between the teams.
The women dominated in the 3-point contest and the mid-range shooting competitions.
The event is a way to announce the start of their seasons as well as engage with the fans through competitions that include members in the stands and have prizes.
The Tigers finished their last season by competing with Southwestern in the SCAC Championship game. This year, the Tigers are more than ready to get back in the gym, especially their head coach, Cameron Hill.
“I am so happy to be out there with this team, and they have done a very good job preparing and executing thus far,” Hill said. “We have some terrific leaders, talented players and truly amazing young women. It’s exciting walking onto the practice floor everyday.”
Leading the team this year are senior captains Anecia Richardson, Bryony Harris, Elizabeth Balido and Caitlin Barrett.
Richardson, Harris and Balido have been playing basketball together since high school, having all come from Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Texas.
Not only have they been teammates for over four years, but they have also won a state championship together, allowing them to really know what it takes to reach the top.
“Leading by example is my go-to leadership style,” Richardson said. “I want ..to show my team that their captains are working as hard as they are. Since we all have the same goals, we all have to put in our best effort everyday.”
First year Rachel ..Chavez speaks on the captains’ effectiveness on the team.
“I believe our senior leaders have helped us prepare for the season by pushing us everyday to become better teammates and athletes overall,” Chavez said. “At first, some challenges included learning new plays and jelling with a new team, but the girls have been really helpful making it an easy transition.”
With those challenges comes a supportive coach.
“You need to know, these girls on this team mean the world to me,” Hill said. “I believe we can accomplish a lot, but my expectation is that we take things one day at a time and focus on the steady climb.”
The team’s goal this season is to win the SCAC Championships and improve on their finish from last year.
The team has brought in some new plays to increase the offense diversity.
The Tigers opened up Saturday against UTSA only losing 60-69, and the team was able to put up a good fight against a division-one school.
This preseason match gave the team a chance to work out some of their weaknesses, giving them a better idea of what to focus on in practice.
“Staying close with them actually gives us a boost of confidence for our regular season with them being division one and being a bigger team than us size-wise,” Richardson said. “We now know what we need to work on as a team and individually so this will really help get ready for our first game of the season.”
Richardson was not the only one who thought the team showed great talent in the game.
“Our girls were confident and poised. We played a very good defensive game and we were able to get all of our players some time on the floor,” Hill said. “I think we can feel very good about where we are and improve a lot from this!”
Although the Tigers lost, the game was a great indicator of the hard work put forth already and the potential this team has for the season.
“We are trying to push the ball more,” Harris said. “We hope to use our speed to our advantage so we can run directly into plays.”
The Tiger’s first home match will be November 16 at 8 p.m. against Mary-Hardin Baylor.