Women’s basketball improving despite back to back losses


Andrew Hodowanec/ Observer

Emily Young dribbles through traffic against Washington University earlier this season, despite recent losses the Spartans have continued to improve.

It can be easy to focus on results when it comes to collegiate athletics. With regards to the Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team, however, it cannot be the only thing by which the team is judged. This past weekend saw the Spartans lose two games, bringing their record to 7-15 and 2-9 in conference. “It is obviously very frustrating feeling losing games when you believe you can win.” said first-year student Hillary Hellman, “After coming off a big win against NYU, we had high hopes of beating another nationally ranked team. However, we were so focused on winning and getting that feeling back that we overlooked the process of the continuous hard work that got us the win against NYU in the first place.”

Due to this it is more important to recognize that this is an extremely young team, with seven first-year students on the team and only two fourth-year students. Coach Jennifer Reimer makes sure to emphasize this point: “We feel great about our season thus far as young players have shown tremendous growth and our upperclassmen have shown strong leadership.”

Hellmann has been one of the brightest spots for the team this season, showing growth and currently averaging 12.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Hellmann will be a huge part of the team for the next few years, along with her other six first-year counterparts. Kara Hageman, only a second-year student, is averaging 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. She is just another example of a bright spot on a young team. “Every sport’s season has it’s highs and lows, but the key is really to not allow either to impact the team’s performance the next game,” said Hellmann “Both experiences allow you to grow together as a team, and you have to constantly be working to be better everyday in practice.”

Another highlight has been third-year student Jess McCoy. She has been one of the leaders of the team all season, and this past weekend she was able to put together a career-high 27 points in a losing effort to Washington University in St. Louis, en route to being named the University Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Athlete of the Week. “ I think I came out and played with more aggressiveness, trying to move the ball and make things happen,” said McCoy, “I think that mentality also led to a good shooting percentage and success attacking the rim.”

Reimer had plenty of words of praise for McCoy, saying “(She) is one of the best guards in the league. Jess is a competitor. She’s always at her best against the best teams—Friday night was no exception.”

Her career-high game came against the number ten team in the country in Wash U. Her effort did not come against some lowly team. She was getting buckets against one of the best teams CWRU will play all season. The win column might not be best indication of the successes of the team this season, and they will close the season strong. “We will finish this year working smart and working hard and giving our opponents all they can handle,” said Reimer.

With two games this upcoming weekend, the Spartans return home. They return to the court beginning on Friday, Feb. 19, hosting the University of Rochester. Senior Night will be Sunday, and will honor fourth-year students Emily Young and Laura Mummey before playing Emory University, a team the Spartans already beat once this season. Be sure to head over for both games, especially on Senior Night, to show support for a resilient CWRU women’s basketball team. “Our goal for these last three games is to play with hustle, passion, and leave everything on the floor,” said McCoy, “ Rochester is playing great basketball right now, and I’m excited to see them on our home court. Emory, who also has a few upsets under their belt, will be a strong follow-up game on Sunday.”