The first two games of the women’s basketball campaign didn’t begin the way that head coach Sam Jones wanted.
His team squandered an early lead against Carnegie Mellon before falling in overtime and lost by 20 points to Allegheny. Jones summed up his thoughts in six words.
“Game one good,” said Jones. “Game two unacceptable.”
During Tuesday’s 69-49 loss to Allegheny College, the Yellow Jackets fell behind by as many as 27 points to a team that went 6-19 a year ago. Four Gators scored in double digits, while Waynesburg shot a measly 28 percent from the field, including 13 percent from three-point range.
Jones was disappointed with a number of things, including energy and execution.
“We had a complete lack of energy,” said Jones. “We weren’t executing, we didn’t pick up our energy, and that leads to really bad play. To quote my assistant [Jasmine Jenkins], the ball finds the energy. It sounds stupid, but when we play faster and with more energy, we make more shots.”
There are 11 players rostered, the same number as last year. Nine of those players dressed for Tuesday’s game.
A big reason for the diminishing numbers is combined with issues such as injuries and other happenings.
Senior point guard Monica Starre is a three-year starter as the floor general. She is dealing with a stress fracture in her back which will sideline her for four weeks.
Junior guard Erin Joyce was second on the team a year ago in three-point shots. She hasn’t played the first two games at 100% after straining some ligaments in her right shoulder during the team’s trip to Canada.
Sophomores Kerri Bungard and Jenna Miller were both supposed to see significant time this year. Both of them are no longer with the team.
“We just have to take our time,” said Joyce. “That involves resting when we need to rest, doing some of the feel-good stuff that will help us in the long run.”
Joyce has also taken a role that is relatively new to her, which is being one of the leaders of a team that has five freshmen and six upperclassmen.
“It is not the type of player I usually am,” said Joyce. “We are all learning, so we all just have to trust each other.”
Another big loss that the Yellow Jackets are suffering from is the void left by Addy Knetzer, who graduated last year as the program’s all-time leading rebounder and second-highest scorer in school history.
“We’re not trying to replace Addy Knetzer,” Jones said. “You can’t replace a kid who’s the all-time leading rebounder and second leading all-time scorer in the program unless you luck into it. We just want to get as much production from the post as possible, even if it is from two or three players.”
The newest face that will be seen in the post is freshman Brooke Fuller. She is the tallest player on the team at 6’0, but is in unfamiliar territory.
“I was never an actual post player in high school,” Fuller said. “It’s nice that I have coaches that are teaching me and giving me the opportunity to play in this new position. It will be a lot to fill [Knetzer’s] shoes, but I think as the year goes on I will be able to do my part to help the team win.”
The women’s basketball team hits the road this weekend when it takes part in the Penn State Behrend tip-off tournament.