Winter is quickly approaching, which means the SRU women’s basketball season is right around the corner. They have been practicing hard during the offseason, and preseason play concluded this week at Akron University.
In their first preseason bout, The Rock took a beating from Ohio State University, with a final score of 96-48. Although both games went down as losses, the drive to compete was still there.
Against Akron University, Slippery Rock kept it close in the first half, but slacked off in the second portion of the game, losing 97-54. In the first half of the game, The Rock was keeping up with the Big Ten team. However, after the halftime break, the momentum came to a halt. The games were still valuable to the ultimate task of preseason play, which is to get ready for the games that count toward the overall record.
While Slippery Rock is Division II, both schools they faced are within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I conference. It was good for them to play talented teams at a greater level of basketball than the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West.
As for the preseason poll, the PSAC has placed Slippery Rock in last place out of the nine PSAC West schools. Seton Hill University is ranked first, followed by California University of Pennsylvania in second and Clarion University of Pennsylvania in third.
However, these are simply predictions based on a lack of statistics since the 2020-2021 season was cancelled. After all, anything can happen, and Slippery Rock players have voiced that they are confident in their abilities this year.
Sophomore and forward player Jordan Kauffman said she thinks her team will play well this season.
“If we don’t let other distractions get in the way, we can be very good this year,” Kauffman said.
She added that there have been struggles within the group to overcome adversity and work through problems together. Over the fall semester, the squad was waking up early for 5:30 a.m. practices and working toward a more positive attitude with one another. Kauffman added that she believes the team can win the PSAC West this year.
“There’s a lot of talent within our roster and great potential to do well if we play together,” she said.
Coming off an ACL injury, this will be Kauffman’s first season back on the court after rehab.
“I was really nervous until I realized now that I’m back to playing, how much I truly missed the game,” Kauffman said.
The point guard works as a backcourt player who directs the team’s offense in running plays and scoring. Daeja Quick is that player for The Rock women’s basketball team. According to her teammates, she brings the ball up like no other player and nobody can stay in front of her.
“When she passes the ball out, anyone on our team can shoot and our post is one of the best rebounders I’ve ever seen,” Kauffman said. “Our coach Bobby McGraw pushes us to our greatest potential, and because of him we all have become hard workers.”
The first conference game within their section will be hosted by Slippery Rock at the Morrow Field House, with the first tip-off on Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. They will take on East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania in hopes of their first of many victories.