Brian Williams, Campus Carrier reporter
Noah Beck, Campus Carrier editor
The new season is quickly approaching for women’s basketball, and the team’s expectations are high for a better season, after they finished last year with a 13-13 record.
The team had memorable wins last year, going on a 9-game winning streak, but is looking to translate that success over a full season.
“We finished third last year,” Head Coach Thomas Johnson said. “I told the girls I would rather skip second and go straight to first.”
A big reason for the success of the team last year was the play they had at home. The team was able to go 9-4 last year at home and had some close games where they seemed to always find a way to pull it off, with many games ending in buzzer beaters.
Junior guard Jana Morning knows how much of an advantage the Cage can be and expects it to be even better this year.
“When there is actually people there, it is crazy,” Morning said. “I love it.”
An invested home crowd can have an effect on the team and help them play better while making communication difficult for the opposing teams. Johnson and players like Morning agree that an energized crowd certainly helps them in close games.
Many of the players, like sophomore forward Mary Walters, still value the away games and see it as a bonding experience for the team.
“Road trips are really important, too,” Walters said. “We grow a lot when we have to play at other places, and we have fun too.”
The team did not have many graduating seniors last year and therefore retained most of their team, with some freshmen who stepped up last year that Coach Johnson said he is excited to see play this year. The team is also adding five new players this year, three freshmen and two transfer students.
“We have a good blend of new players,” Johnson said. “Most importantly they give us more depth.”
As far as the game plan going into this season, Johnson said that it will be relatively the same. The team relied on their defense last year but is excited to stretch the floor more with their new players and more three-point shooting.
Johnson sees this as a formula for fast-paced, exciting games and said students will like what they see when they come out and support.
The Berry women’s team will start its season Saturday by playing Piedmont College in the SAA Classic Tournament at Oglethorpe University. The first home game will be Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. against Brevard.