Women’s Basketball: VWC looks to end their ODAC title drought

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By Kellie Lagoy

An impressive 70-34 win over Hollins University was the cherry on top of a successful season for Virginia Wesleyan’s Women’s Basketball team. The Marlins finished their regular season with a 16-9 overall record, and they posted a 10-6 conference record. The 2014-15 season was one for breaking
records and overall success.

Their success made it possible to move straight on to the Salem Civic Center for the ODAC Tournament. The end of the season gave the Marlins a number-four spot in the conference and a first-round bye. The team will get a break for a few days before playing in its first game on Friday against Guilford College. “I am really excited for the opportunity to end Guilford’s season after they have ended ours in the tournament for the past three years,” senior Symonne
Newsome said.

The conference tournament is single-elimination, which can bring a lot of anticipation and excitement into the locker room. The players use that feeling to motivate them to bring their best talents to the courts.

“I can’t wait to get to Salem,” said senior Brittany Glasco. “The whole atmosphere is so electrifying, and it’s completely different from regular-season play. We know it’s one-and-done, so we know we all need to step up.”

This squad has no shortage of talent on the roster to bring it success in the tournament. Seniors Nancy Kelly and Brittany Glasco stole the show for rebounds, both of them reaching 500 career totals this season. Also, three players made their way into the top five in conference categories. Kelly ranked second in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 53 percent. Glasco was ranked fifth in steals, totaling 51 for the season, and senior Andrea Paphites finished her season ranked third in blocks with 28.

If the Marlins beat Guilford in the quarterfinals, they will then  face eithe Eastern Mennonite or Bridgewater in the semifinals. The thought isn’t too lofty a goal for the players of this Marlins squad. Their regular-season successes, in particular against the Guilford College Quakers, give them hope of stepping on the court at Salem Civic Center on Sunday to compete for the championship title.

“I’m so excited to compete for the championship. I really want to win and I know we can if we all work together and play our roles to the best of our ability. We’re all ready to bring a different level of intensity to the tournament, in hopes of bringing home the title,” freshman Naeemah Morris said.

Six seniors will leave the team once the season concludes, including five players and one student assistant coach, and winning a conference championship is what they are striving for. Five out of those six have seen the championship game once before, in 2012. They fell 57-40 against Guilford College. They look to be in the same game this year, but with a different outcome. “We’re out for revenge,” said Symonne Newsome. “We can’t wait to bring home the championship title.”