By: Madi DeVries
The University of Findlay women’s basketball team enters their season chosen to finish 4th in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Last season, the Oilers finished with a record of 20-8 on the season, with 16 wins and 6 losses in conference play.
Sophomore guard Amber Schweiger believes that the team will be successful, just as long as they play how they practice.
“We know as a team what competition we will face in and outside of conference play. Everything we do starts in practice. We have a hard-working team and I believe it will carry over into all of our competitions,” said Schweiger. Schweiger believes that being picked 4th in the G-MAC proves that their team will be a true competitor this year.
Although, one setback coming into this season for the team will be that they will no longer have Elissa Ellerbrock or Anna Hintz on the team, as they both graduated. Both Hintz and Ellerbrock made first team all G-MAC, and Hintz was named G-MAC player of the year as well as named to first team all-region by D2CCA. These were extremely prolific players on the court last year for the Oilers and it can be hard to replace such talent. Sophomore forward, Sydney Kin, thinks it’ll be tough to adjust at first. But with the talent that they have this year, they are confident they will succeed on the court.
“Losing an all-American will be hard to replace this year but it is more than possible, and we still look like a very talented team,” said Kin.
Despite the setback, Kin noted that losing such great players will only leave room for current teammates to showcase their talents on the court this season to help the team progress, leaving this loss as an opportunity for team growth.
With an increased number of new players to the Oilers’ roster, finding the right matchups can be extremely beneficial to team chemistry, but the team shows us day in and day out how they are meshing together on and off the court. Junior guard, Allison Utterback and a transfer from Lewis University, agrees with that sentiment. She loves how close the team is so early on.
“Our team is full of new players due to the loss of 9 seniors last year, but aside from that our team chemistry is awesome. We’ve done a lot of things together as a team in the pre-season and it’s allowed us to grow super close. Which I believe will be carried over to the court come game time,” said Utterback. “A lot of our upperclassman and returning players from last year have a lot of collegiate basketball experience, which makes our leadership this year awesome.”
Also mentioned as helping team chemistry is the excitement, throughout the roster, of hitting the court in the newly named Niekamp Arena at such a high level with great talent around them.
“We are all eager to have our first game even though it may be brand new for some. I think we will have an exciting year,” Schweiger said.
With their first game on Nov. 8 against Northwood at home, the buzz around campus mirrors that of the players. There is excitement and anticipation all around as the Oilers head into this season with all of Oiler Nation behind them.