Basketball season has begun and the Stars are excited to start bringing home the wins.
The team underwent a number of changes this year with the addition of new coach, Chris Duncan, and six new team members.
Despite such changes, the team has emerged into the season and is ready to show their hard work.
Molly Zehner, graduate assistant, says Duncan, who previously coached at Columbia College, has brought in good expectations and goals for the season.
“He appears very determined to meet these goals and wants to motivate the girls to achieve the goals as well,” Zehner said.
However, senior Jessica McConnell said having a new coach is challenging because everyone has to “figure out expectations of one another.”
“I think Coach Duncan has communicated well with us about what he wants, and that helps the team out a lot,” McConnell said.
Pre-season practices have been preparing the team for the season, as they get comfortable with one another and Duncan.
“It is always a challenge to figure out how new players are going to come in and mesh with the team,” McConnell said, “but this year it went very smoothly.”
Zehner said the freshmen this year have been a great addition to the team, with hard working player who will help out the team this year and for years to come.
Dana Heggemann, freshman, said the upperclassman were very welcoming.
Zehner said positive team chemistry is necessary to have a successful team, and that is what the Stars have this year.
“These girls get along on and off the court and that is big,” Zehner said.
The team was able to scrimmage the University of Missouri club team during pre-season giving them a chance to play together as a team before games began.
“It helped show our weak areas on defense,” Zehner said. “Being able to see this in the scrimmage allowed us time to perfect it in practice.”
McConnell said that the scrimmage, being the first time they played together, allowed them to work on pushing the ball up the court and making the extra pass to give their teammates an open shot.
“The game was a lot faster and the girls were a lot stronger,” Heggemann said. “For having as little practice as we did, I think we did very well.”
Zehner said the girls have put in a lot of time and hard work since pre-season began in August , and are ready for the season.
Although Stephens’ average height is only one inch shorter compared to rival Columbia College, Zehner said the goal is to be quick and fast-paced to “out run and out work teams we come up against.”
Zehner said the returning players on the team have shown leadership for the freshmen.
Zehner, McConnell, Heggemann and team members are all prepared for the season, having the opportunity to make it a successful one.