By Nicholas Jacobs
The University of Mary Washington women’s basketball team hasn’t even come close to losing a game this season, as their dominance on the court has continued to place them atop the weekly D3Hoop.com polls.
The Eagles beat Capital Athletic Conference rival Hood College last Saturday night, 63-18, earning their fifth straight win of the season. With the win, Mary Washington proved to any doubters that they are serious about making a run to the National Championships.
To complement the victory, the win over Hood also set a career landmark for head coach Deena Applebury. The three-time CAC Coach of the Year and Russell Athletic WBCA National Coach of the Year earned her 100th win, bringing her career record to 100-25. Only 12 of those losses have come from the past four seasons.
Applebury was unavailable for comment.
Senior guard Lisa Tracy is excited to have been able to give Applebury something back, as she gives so much to the team.
“Coach Applebury really stresses the aspect of not looking too far into the future,” she said. “She knows every game is important in our success, not just in terms of wins, but in gaining experience. She knows how to push us individually in practice and games so that she gets the most out of each of us and as a team.”
All-American senior center Liz Hickey racked up 15 points and came even closer to breaking the Division III career blocked shots record, striking down seven of Hood’s attempts.
Hickey contributes UMW’s success to teamwork and talent.
“Our team has always worked well together,” she said. “One of the main reasons for this is our bench is very deep. Anyone on our team is capable of scoring at anytime.
“[Juniors] Ashton Mitchell and Katy Larson have established themselves as key role players,” she added. “Ashton has done an excellent job filling Debbie Bruen’s spot. Katy Larson is a threat coming of the bench and leads the team in assists.”
With much of the action taking place on the offensive side of the court, junior guard Kaitie Clarkin knows that the team’s defensive abilities are what is going to take the team far.
“We are all really excited about the rest of the season,” she said. “We feel that we have the potential to go far this year. Our defense is important for us. If there is a great defensive play, it motivates us on the offensive side.”
Clarkin contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals in the team’s victory against Hood College.
With all signs pointing to another record-breaking year, Hickey stil realizes that the season is far from over.
“The team has started the season off great, but we realize that our more difficult games are still ahead,” she said. “We have two challenging games this week against York and Catholic. We lost to York last year and we have been practicing hard so that won’t happen again this year.”
The Eagles are 2-0 in their conference after beating Salisbury University 97-54 in their home opener on November 28. During their season opener against Ursinus College, UMW overtook the 2006-2007 Sweet Sixteen Team 74-46.
Last night the Eagles played in their third CAC match-up, a difficult away match against York College of PA. York dealt the Eagles one of only two loses last season. Before facing off against Mary Washington, York was 6-0 for the season. The University’s athletics website broadcasted the game over the internet.
While the rest of the University is on break, the Eagles will be hard at work.
However, their break will include escaping the winter weather by traveling to Huntington Beach, California. The team will face off against other nationally ranked teams in the Surf City Classic. Their opening match-up is scheduled for December 29 against Concordia.
The Eagles will return to Fredericksburg on January 7 to face off against Frostburg State University. Their first home game of the 2008 spring semester will be played on January 19. They will tip-off against Wesley College at 2 p.m.