After a mid-season slump, the Lady Hawks are back in form and taking down their prey.
Though the team has lost two games, they have recently come back to win their last three, improving their overall record to 19-2 and are ranked No.1 in SUNYAC standings, ahead of SUNY Geneseo.
The Women’s Basketball team lost their first game of the season to Geneseo, resulting in the end of their undefeated streak on Jan. 25, and were also defeated by Western Connecticut State on Jan. 29. Whereas some teams would sulk in their sorrows, the Hawks are using this opportunity to grow and develop as a team, Head Coach Jamie Seward said.
“It wasn’t our goal to be undefeated,” Seward said. “It was good while it lasted, but our goal is to be a very difficult team to compete with.”
He said the team was going through a “mid-season slump” prior to the game, and even when they were on a winning streak, they were not playing to the best of their abilities.
“Geneseo played very well and they’re a great team,” he said. “Combine that with us not playing to the best of our ability— the ‘dog days’ of January — and not a great week of prep, and we got what we deserved.”
The loss against Geneseo “woke the team up a little bit,” according to Seward making every practice and game more important for all 12 players.
“During the Geneseo game, we had a lack of focus,” Co-captain Maliqua Fisher said. “We did not play up to our definition of ‘New Paltz Basketball.’”
Fisher said the loss acted as motivation for the team and will result in stronger play by opposing teams.
“Losing that game was just more motivation for us, since now every team will give us their best shot,” Fisher said. “We have to play that much harder and prove what a good basketball team we really are.”
Co-captain Kahsyrah Bryant expressed the same sentiment and said the team can now focus on growth rather than their perfect record.
“Next time we play them, it’s gonna be a tough game,” Bryant said. “Now the pressure of being undefeated is off our chest, so we can just focus on improving and playing the game.”
Seward appreciates his team’s positive attitude and willingness to improve. He said the team is more receptive to constructive criticism when he is able to keep things fresh in practice.
He also said the team has a tendency to “beat themselves up,” but are motivated to succeed.
Seward said players have been showing up early for practices and a first-year player requested longer practice sessions to reap the rewards of hard work.
Fisher said the team wants to move forward from their loss and that they would rather lose in the regular season than lose in the playoffs, which would end their season.
Bryant said the losses have positively affected the team and will result in a stronger threat for their opponents.
“We’re going through a rough time because we just lost to Western Connecticut,” Bryant said. “We’re gonna stick together and continue being a family. This has actually been making us really closer, so people are gonna have a tough time beating us now.”
Despite this slump, Seward said he thinks that the team is in a good position for the rest of the season and is looking forward to the continued support from fans.