Even the best teams can falter when chemistry is off. Such had been the case for the UVM women’s basketball team.
After starting the season with strong victories against top-conference foes, then finding themselves in the top 25, the Cats went downhill after struggling against bitter rivals BU and Hartford.
“Losing to your rival is a motivating factor to get better,” senior captain May Kotsopoulos said.
The losses cut deep but the team showed their improvement with a decisive victory Feb. 10 over BU at Patrick Gym.
With less than a handful of games left on the schedule, the team knows it must continue its improvement if it is to beat Hartford and take home the America East regular season championship.
“I think we are going to continue to do what we have been doing and stick to what has led us to be this successful,” junior forward Tonya Young said.
“We will continue to not take any teams for granted, come to practice every day, knowing that we need to get better and improve to be where we want to be in the end, the America East champs.”
Young has provided a huge spark to the team as an inside-outside threat. She’s been able to show her ability on the boards, with multiple games of over 10 rebounds, as well as being a deadly three-point shooter.
“I think my improvement started over the summer, just being in the gym constantly putting up shots, running and lifting and not taking anything for granted,” Young said.
“I have had my setbacks earlier in previous seasons, and even earlier this year, and had just kept a level head about it and knew that if I continued to work hard and play with passion that I would get my chance.”
The sharp-shooting forward is quick to note that no one can stay settled in the starting rotation and hard work and dedication must be brought into every practice in order to hold it.
The same dedication must be taken up by all Cats in order to reclaim the number one spot.
As rival Hartford looms, Young believes that the team will have what it takes to take revenge on the loss from earlier this season.
“We have to continue to have fun while working extremely hard, which is what allowed us to be successful,” Young said. “We just have to believe in ourselves, because we all know that we can [win the championship] again.”
The next home game for women’s basketball is on Feb. 21 against UMBC.