Women’s Basketball Kicks Off 2023 Season With High Hopes

The women’s basketball team huddles before a game in the 2022 season. During this year’s season, the team is 5-3, with them winning against Kalamazoo on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Savannah Waddick).

The fall 2023 season for Albion College’s women’s basketball team has been full of wins and close games. With a total of eight games played, Albion’s current record is 5-3.

Anja Kelley, Lake Odessa junior, has been playing basketball since she was in the fourth grade. She participated in basketball camps when she was younger and has continued her basketball career as a shooting guard for Albion. 

Kelley said that basketball is a sport full of teamwork, and the team has to communicate well to find success. Most games that Albion wins end with them having between 50 and 30 more points.  

“You have to be all connected and on the same wavelength all the time to be successful as a team,” Kelley said.

Basketball is a game full of speed and competition, which is what these players like about the sport. 

Ava Guilford and Portland sophomore, has been playing basketball since she was in second grade. Guilford is the point guard and shooting guard for the team.

“I like to compete and I like to win,” Guilford said. “I think it’s a sport you have to be very athletic in.”

There are 10 players in total on the court: Five from one team and five from another. The players are either on offense or defense. They won their first game of the season against Miami University with a score of 93-43.

Kelley said while they don’t win every game, it is a tradition for them to have a winning season. That tradition started seven years ago in 2016-2017 when they ended the season 18-8.

Daniah Beavers, Detroit senior, has been playing basketball for eight years. Beavers plays the center position for Albion. 

“My team takes every loss as a lesson and from then on we strive to improve so that no one can ever beat us in the same way again,” Beavers said via email. “We learn what it will take to win.” 

She said that her teammates create a fun environment and are like-minded people who have the same goals and do what they can to meet them. 

Riley Davis, Chelsea senior, said the team has been consistent in how they play during the year; either playing well or poorly with no in-between. Kelley added they are recognized as a team that can beat anyone, but can also be beaten. 

Davis said that this season started off well. While they did lose to the top teams – Hope and Trine – they played tough games and finished with close scores. 

“There’s definitely a lot of promise for the rest of the season,” Davis said. “I’m really excited for games down the line to just see the team grow and do what I know we can do.”

The women’s basketball team is in a highly competitive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Assosiation (MIAA) conference thanks to teams like Hope and Trine. Davis said because of the close scores during previous games, the team was able to show they can compete on the same skill level.  

Including Albion, there are nine teams in the conference: St. Mary’s, Kalamazoo, Alma, Hope, Trine, Calvin, Olivet and Adrian. In conference games, you see everyone twice. Kelly said it gives them the motivation to do better and a chance to “start over” for the next time they play a certain team. 

“Winning those games is what matters, it helps us get ranked in the tournament,” Kelley said. “It’s nice to know that we see them again and that we can prepare and we can adjust.”

On Wednesday, the team beat Kalamazoo by 43 points, in their second to last conference game before they leave for Puerto Rico for a week during winter break. 

Guilford said after break is when the season starts to get “more real” because they start playing conference teams again. 

In Puerto Rico, Albion will play teams both in and out of their conference, giving them time to adjust to the little things and come back better and stronger. 

“It’s still very early in the year and we’re only going to get better from here, so I know that we can and will accomplish some great things this year,” Beavers said via email. 

About Rhiannon Slotnick 23 Articles
Rhiannon Slotnick is a Junior from Detroit, Michigan. She is double majoring in English Literature Creative Writing and Sociology. She enjoys putting words on to paper for both work and for personal pleasure. If she's not writing, you can find her reading a book or stargazing around campus. You can contact her at rms15@albion.edu

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