Women’s basketball shoots to the top

Eagles team a favorite in Big Sky preseason polls

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer



The EWU women’s basketball team has a promising season ahead, according to the Big Sky preseason polls.

The Eagles look to have yet another productive season following last year’s 19-13 record and the advancement in the WNIT tournament a year ago. A week ago EWU was voted number one by Big Sky Coaches and media members at the top of the Big Sky Preseason Polls. The last top preseason ranking the Eagles earned was back during the 2010-2011 season where they were chosen to be in second place.

Head coach Wendy Schuller appreciates the votes and the number one spot as well. “It’s exciting for us to earn some recognition ahead of time. But, we also understand that we have a whole season in front of us,” Schuller said. “It’s not about where you start, it’s about where you finish.”

Schuller gives respect to their opponents. “I know that our league is really good,” Schuller said. “Our league is competitive, and there’s going to be a couple of teams that nobody picked that are going to come and surprise people. So we have to prepare ourselves and be ready.”

This year, the Eagles earned six first place votes out of nine in the coaches’ poll and 20 first place votes out of 30 in the media members’ poll. The Eagles will have nine athletes returning from last year’s roster. Some of those returning are junior guard Lexie Nelson, sophomore forward Hayley Hodgins, junior Guard Kylie Huerta, senior forward Aubrey Ashenfelter, junior forward Melissa Williams, and senior center Laura Hughes.

The 2013-2014 roster welcomes six new athletes. Some of the players include freshman guard Bethany Montgomery, freshman guard Jade Redmon, freshman center Marly Anderson and freshman forward Haley Shaner. Overall the roster will have a set number of 15 players: two seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and six freshmen.

Nelson is looking forward to the season and is very optimistic. “It seemed like a long summer, long offseason. So I know we’re all excited just to get back at it, having these couple of weeks of practice has been good,” Nelson said. “I think we have really good potential this year, we have all the pieces to the puzzle, but it’s a matter of making sure that it all fits together.”

Hughes has goals for herself of this season and she looks forward to pursuing them. “I want to work on my post game this year and be more efficient, definitely going to the right side [of the block] and be a better post defender,” Hughes said. She also elaborated on how the team has been preparing for this season as well.

“We’ve been working really hard on our offensive game and working on some of the plays and working on defense. And trying to be a good defensive team, because defense wins championships,” Hughes said.

Nelson believes that that the team can become better in every aspect. “You can improve in almost every area, just as a team we just have to make sure we’re always communicating out there and always on the same page.”Schuller believes that the fans will be entertained by the team this season. “We have some players that can do some things that I think will amaze them.”