The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team is taking a two week break, giving the team a chance to reflect and prepare for the competition ahead.
Consisting of a total of 18 players from around the Midwest, each member brings their own unique experience and skillset to the roster. Hallee Hoeppner, a first-year communication sciences and disorders student, said basketball is about more than the numbers on the scoreboard.
“I like the pace of the game,” Hoeppner said, “the fact that while I am playing, I forget about everything else going on around me.”
With a current season record of 4-3, the team has greatly improved from the previous 2015-16 season topping their record of 2-5 heading into their break. The team so far is averaging 62.7 points per game and 18.7 turnovers.
Since the start of their season, Arien Brennan, a senior elementary education student and a three-time letterwinner in basketball, said they’ve been through ups and downs, but the struggle of the day to day challenges have made them stronger as individuals and as a team.
In the last game against the UW-Superior Yellowjackets, the Blugolds surpassed the opposition coming out with a final score of 74-60. Brennan lead all scorers with 15 points, her teammate junior Elysia Boles trailing behind with 12.
Brennan said her passion for basketball came from her family’s history with the sport and each team she plays on, she adds new members to her basketball family. In conjunction, she said the team’s close-knit chemistry on and off of the court benefits the team in each contest.
“Our motto this year is ‘win as one’, and I think that really embodies this group,” Brennan said. “There’s no one person that’s going to carry our team, but together we are tough.”
Reflecting on the team’s performance thus far, Hoeppner said the team needs to continue to work on punching gaps, creating more offensive looks and recover their defensive transitions to limit their opponent’s ability to set up their ideal offense down court. Averaging 13.3 offensive rebounds and 12.1 assists per game, she said they need to work on their offensive skills.
Looking back on the teams of the past seasons, Brennan said this season’s girls have a competitive edge that makes them special and they are committed to having a balanced attack and reaching their goals.
As the semester comes to an end, Brennan said the team hopes to stay healthy and be ready for their conference matchups starting again during winter break.
Before the next season the team will be traveling to Las Vegas Dec. 28-30 for the Division III Hoops Classic where they hope to keep their momentum going and continue to improve their skills. Because all but one of the Blugold’s games so far were played in Zorn Arena, the change in venue is something they will not be used to.
The team has two games left of the season before they begin the conference, Sunday, Dec. 11 against Saint Mary’s (Minn.) and Tuesday, Dec. 13 against Saint Benedict (Minn.). A recap of the games and an in depth play-by-play will be available immediately after the game at blugolds.com.