The Lawrence University women’s basketball team has been working hard in practice as the start of their season quickly approaches. Last season, the team got off to a strong start winning their first two games, but they struggled down the stretch and finished with 2-21 record. They failed to win a conference game, going 0-18 in the Midwest Conference. This, however, was an improvement on the year before where they failed to even win one game. This season, they hope to make even bigger strides and put together some victories.
Last year’s team had no graduating seniors, so the core remains intact. They feature five seniors in Aubrey Scott, Natalie Kramer, Nicole Cummins, Olivia Hoesley, and Lauren Deveikis. Other key returners for the Lady Vikes are junior Leah Reeves, and sophomores Leisl Hostetter, Shonell Benjamin and Grace Minogue. They are joined by a large incoming freshman class of six, adding greatly to the depth of the team. The newcomers to Lawrence women’s basketball are Maggie Gallagher, Liz Jonjak, Erin Hill, Hillary Hazeltine, Kenya Earl and Elena Gonzales.
The returning leading scorers for the Lady Vikes are Reeves and Hoesley who averaged 8.6 and 8.5 points per game respectively. Look for Scott and Kramer, who each contributed 6.4 and 6.0 points per game last year to make a big splash for Lawrence offensively in this upcoming season. On the defensive side of the ball, the Lady Vikes were leading in steals by Benjamin with 28 followed closely by Cummins with 27 last season. Reeves lead the team in blocks last year with nine while Minogue added three.
The first tip-off of the season is on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at Marian University. Last year, the Lady Vikes won this game 51-48 on a three-point shot by Deveikis with 4.2 seconds remaining in the game. Over the December break from classes, the basketball team will travel down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a pair of games. This year’s team features lots of experience, so look for them to make a large improvement over the last few difficult years of Lawrence University women’s basketball.