Back on Track

Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

After starting the season 0-4, the Women’s Basketball team is now on a two game winning streak.

“Last week we started to take a more visible step forward,” Head Coach Jamie Seward said.

The team recorded their first win Nov. 26, beating Mount Saint Mary College 69-47 and then again on Dec. 3 against Eastern Connecticut State 46-43.

“Our biggest change is that we’ve gotten less tolerant with our mistakes,” Seward said.

With a discouraging start, Seward said the losses had a positive effect on the team and showed the Lady Hawks they needed to start doing things the “right way.”

After the Lady Hawks’ 69-59 loss on Nov. 23 to Stevens Institute of Technology, Seward said fourth-year Captain Jeanette Scott, who is averaging five points and 6.4 rebounds per game, approached him and wanted the team to be held more accountable for their short comings.

After that, Seward said, a “line was drawn” as to what New Paltz Basketball stands for – a standard that wasn’t being met at the beginning of the season.

“I take full responsibility of being too patient with the new players,” Seward said. “I gave them too much time to adjust to college play, when what they really needed  was to be held accountable for our downfalls.”

The players said they are responding well with this new pressure.

“We are a very competitive team and every day is a battle on the court,” third-year guard Ashley Riefenhauser. “We push one another in various aspects, whether it’s diving on the floor for a loose ball or fighting for the offensive rebound.”

Riefenhauser said regardless of the challenges the Lady Hawks have already faced and the contests that lay ahead in remaining 19 games of the regular season, the team remains positive and aims to push through each game they play.

Third-year Captain Shannan Walker said even though the season began with a slow start, the Lady Hawks’ main goals can still be reached.

“We’re not trying to play our best basketball in November and December, we’re going to be playing our best basketball in February during our conference tournament and in the national tournament,” Walker said.

But before that, the team will begin SUNYAC play this Friday against SUNY Fredonia.

Seward said this provides a fresh start for the team, with every SUNYAC team starting off with a blank conference record for the season.

“This is why we play non-conference matches, to prepare for when we do play these conference teams,” Seward said. “We are definitely better prepared now than we were two weeks ago.”