Putting up 86 points against the Saint Vincent Bearcats, the best team in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, was a boost for the women’s basketball team Wednesday night.
Although Waynesburg lost by 10 points, considering the circumstances, it was a better turnout than what was expected. Heading into Saturday, the Jackets will be facing a Thiel team that is 0-6 in the conference. At first glance, this may seem like an easy victory, but with all things considered, it may be wise to hold off on the pregame predictions for now according to head coach Sam Jones. For Jones, assuming a win is the last thing he wants to do.
“We cannot even remotely begin to look at our opponent,” Jones said, “and decide our effort based on who they are. As much as Thiel is 0-6, we’re 1-5, it’s not like we’re outlandishly better than they are. That’s how you lose to those teams.”
Senior Alli Delaney agrees with Jones and added that the women will need to play with energy.
“We have to keep the intensity we had against Saint Vincent,” Delaney said, “and not play so much to the level our competition but keep working to get better.”
Jones stressed that the primary focus should not be on the opponent’s ability, rather it should be on Waynesburg and the areas where improvement is needed.
“We need to be focused on being the best version of us on the defensive end, on the offensive end, and just really pay attention to details,” Jones said.
Jones also explained how factors like rebounding and empty possessions have affected the Jackets throughout the season but by limiting mistakes overall, he believes that this will send them in the right direction.
“We need to stop beating ourselves,” Jones said, “I’ve just asked them to cut their mistakes in half.”
On the other hand, Jones has recently been pleased with the improvements of ball and player movements. Through their main post player, sophomore Brooke Fuller, along with the opponents double-teaming Fuller, the Jackets have been able to spread the floor and create more shot opportunities. And that creates more evenly distributed points amongst the players on the stat sheet.
Using this strategy is a useful weapon for the Jackets heading into Saturday’s game, and with the addition of coach Jess Vormelker, who was Thiel’s star player last season and the PAC player of the year, the coaching staff could have in advantage in how to prepare for Thiel.
Junior Andrea Orlosky and Delaney have been key players for Waynesburg alongside Fuller, in addition to important bench points coming from players like sophomore Kacey Kastroll and freshman Leighton Croft.
In order for the players to contribute the same quality minutes in Saturday’s game, the details are going to be the key factors for winning the game, Jones said.
“We need to be better prepared than we were against Saint Vincent, [and] to focus on the details of the game.”