The women’s basketball team at Ithaca College is headed to the NCAA Tournament. After falling to St. John Fisher in an 86-84 overtime loss, the team received an unexpected at-large bid. They are now headed to Brunswick, Maine, as they look to keep their season going.
The Bombers finished the season with a record of 22-5, with a 15-1 record within their conference. Before losing to St. John Fisher, they had a solid 9 game winning streak, and they will look to continue their momentum and extend their season.
The team seemed very confident about its chances to advance in the tournament, and keep its season alive. Senior forward Geena Brady explained that they simply needed to play “Bombers basketball” to be successful, and had little doubt in their ability to do so. Head coach Dan Raymond shared his faith in his team, and spoke of what they needed to do in order to advance.
“As long as we go with our herds on correctly, as far as our focus, both offensively and defensively, I feel confident.”
He won’t on to say that they really need to keep focusing on the little things. The ‘little things’ could mean a number of different things, including making the right pass on offense, and being in the right mindset for defense.
“Basically it’s functioning together, it’s that synergy approach. We are such a balanced team, and we have to function together.”
Friday, the women will take on the squad from Mt. Saint Vincent University, in the first round of the tournament. The team has been preparing for their contest by practicing daily and utilizing a ‘scout team’.
“They help us with our decision-making process”, said junior Keri Steele of the scout team.
This team comes in for a couple practices before each game to get them ready for their competition. The scout team consists of five people who represent players from the team Ithaca is to face next. Through watching film and studying the opponents’ game plans, the scout team plays to the style of the upcoming opponents’ best players.
With the end in sight for the graduating class, Coach Raymond had nothing but praise for his team’s graduating seniors. When asked about how important they have been in mentoring the young players, he responded by saying it’s been too good to measure.
“You can’t measure that. What they have meant is beyond anything you can quantify. It’s just been phenomenal to see them develop this year as leaders.”
Though their season isn’t over yet, one can’t help but to look ahead to next season. Geena Brady is confident that they can be consistently competitive moving forward. Though the team has a lot of younger players, the leadership exhibited by the seniors means a lot for the team’s success moving forward.
“We had a lot of freshman this year, but we’ve been pretty close as a team”, said Brady.
Sophomore guard Ali Ricchiuti appreciates what the seniors have done, and the importance of the camaraderie they have emphasized.
“It’s what we have to look up to.”