SUNY New Paltz Women’s basketball team celebrates their 17th consecutive win of the season as the SUNYAC tournament quickly approaches in the coming weeks.
On Saturday, Feb. 11, the Hawks secured their spot as top seed in the conference following a crushing win against SUNY Brockport with a final score of 60-37.
A secret to their success is the level of accountability asserted on each team member in and out of practice. “Our team is just really big on accountability,” said Maddie Gillis, fourth-year guard. “We just focus on that every day, not afraid to tell each other if we’re doing well or not doing well or what we need to do to be successful.”
Since there were so many returning players this season, the team was able to build upon where they left off in the previous year, instead of starting entirely fresh. “I think it was the experimenting that was more than a couple years ago and now it’s more just tweaking and sharpening the rough edges,” said head coach Jamie Seward.
“Throughout the season, when we go into intercession, we practice like twice a day and I feel like that really helps me and helps the team,” said Gillis. “We work on a lot of individual skills along with practicing as a team.”
“I think this team potentially has some legs, it could really, you know, take us pretty far in the postseason. I think it’s going to take a team to really come out and play well to beat us,” said Seward.
“They like being around, they like practicing, they like playing together,” said Seward. “I think that makes it a lot easier to, as a coach, try to get over whatever you’re trying to accomplish when there’s a genuine environment of enthusiasm and excitement.”
Coach Seward recently won his 300th game in his career coaching for SUNY New Paltz against SUNY Geneseo on Friday, Feb. 10, and it certainly won’t be his last with this team.
The ball doesn’t stop rolling after the SUNYAC Championships. “We’ve built one of the best programs in the region, and we’re trying to take it to the next step and be one of the best programs nationally,” said Seward.
The Hawks will take on Plattsburgh State and SUNY Potsdam on Feb. 17 and 18, respectively, as the last two games of their regular season, with the SUNYAC Semifinals to follow shortly after. The SUNYAC Semis will take place on Feb. 24, just before the Championship on Feb. 25.
To keep up to date with the Hawks’ SUNYAC standings, go to the New Paltz Athletics official website or refer to their official Instagram @newpaltzhawks.