Women’s basketball off to a quick start

The Laurier women’s basketball team has come out of the gates quickly, starting the 2016-17 season an impressive 4-1, as they defeated the nationally ranked Ryerson Rams, Algoma Thunderbirds twice, losing a close one to Queen’s and pummeling York by 30 in Toronto.

Even though the roster now consists of six first-year players, they have managed to find ways to win.

“Yeah, I think with such a new lineup, big change over, had six new players coming to the team that we knew that it was going to take a little bit to figure out what we had and get people into their roles,” said head coach, Paul Falco.

“Our expectations were that we’re going to be a work in progress team, where we need to find a way to keep improving over the course of the season, month after month and I think some of it was unknown in terms of how we would do, because we did have so many new pieces that we had to figure out or how it’d all fit together Falco said, in regards to expectations going into the season.

This team has shown early and often that they are capable of winning games, as they got contributions from different players across the roster, which Falco considered to be one of the big factors to their 4-1 start.

“I think defensively, we’re asking everybody to contribute on the defensive end and I think our senior leadership from Kaitlyn Schenck has been a big part of our early success. She had a great preseason; she’s carried that forward into the regular season, but really if you look at the defence and scoring and rebounding, we’ve had contributions from a lot of different players and I think that’s allowed us to be successful in the early going,” he said.

Falco has also had contributions from Nicole Morrison who was an OUA all-star last season, Irena Rynkiewicz, Sarah Dillon, Lauren Jamieson and Tayania Siwek-Smith, to name a few.

Despite having six rookies, they have managed to make an impact, and quickly too.

“Yeah, fortunately they’ve had a big impact. I think, you know, we’ve relied on them a lot,” Falco said.

“There’s a number of times where I’d look out on the floor and we’ve got three first-years out there and they’re battling away and they’re learning on the fly. We’re making lots of mistakes but I can see them getting better and could see them learning from their mistakes and if we continue to do that, we should be able to make bigger steps as the season goes on, but we’re very pleased with the first-years at this point of the season.”

First-year players such as Rachel Woodburn and Brianna Iannazzo, to name a couple have made their mark. Woodburn has had success on the defensive end, finding ways to get her hands on the ball often, while Iannazzo has shown she’s more than capable of putting points on the board, scoring 20 in the loss to Queen’s on Friday.

Even though they have gotten off to fast start, they don’t plan to ease up.

“We still, actually, have a lot of work to do in terms of improving to get to where we need to be come February, so it’s been a good start, but we’re not satisfied with where we’re at right now,” said Falco.

“There is so much room for improvement, especially on the defensive end.”

In terms of expectations for the rest of the season, coach Falco stressed the importance of constant improvement.

“But, for us, we’re trying to look less where we end up in the standings as opposed to how we could reach our potential and what can we do to make ourselves better week after week.”

“If we keep improving week after week, then we’re gonna be pretty darn good come the end of February.”

Next up, the women’s basketball team will face off against Western.

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