After ending last season with a record of 8-17 overall and 6-8 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, La Verne’s women’s basketball team has high hopes to go all the way in conference for the 2012-2013 season.
“Our goal is to win conference and go as far as we can in tournament,” senior guard Amanda Copas said.
Head coach Matt Rogers will be coaching the Leopards’ for his third season.
Going into the new season Rogers will be counting on his captains, Copas and junior guard Megan Musashi to lead the team.
“I am really hoping to achieve consistency for my team and be a role model for my team,” Copas said.
Copas and Musashi both made second team in All- SCIAC and as a team received an award from the NCAA for scoring 26 three-pointers in a game, making it a season record.
Along with Copas and Musashi the team will be depending on returners senior center Tyne McClure and sophomore point guard Riki Murakami.
Unlike teams who solely rely on their junior and senior athletes, the team has a great variety of players.
To add to the returning team members, some newcomers to look out for will be junior guard/forward Lindsey Foster, junior guard Kimmie Fung and freshman guard Shannon Irwin.
Foster is a transfer from Notre Dame de Namur and Fung is a transfer from San Mateo. Both played basketball at their previous schools and Irwin made second team in all league and was MVP in all league in high school.
“The team is amazing,” Irwin said. “We get along great and have each other’s backs.”
With the return of the team’s starting players and the fresh new faces the Leopards have on the court, the Leopards are looking up for having a successful season.
Despite losing the first preseason game to Division 1 school, Cal State Fullerton, 91-51, the team is not letting the loss define their SCIAC season.
“We are definitely still confident,” Musashi said. “We didn’t play are best and we are taking it as a lesson.”
The team is working hard in practice to better their weaknesses that could hold them back from achieving their team goals.
The Leopards are looking to take advantage of each of their strengths this season to make impact.
“Our biggest advantage right now is our depth,” Copas said. “We are all at a higher skill set right now.”
Regardless if the team wins or loses, Rogers could not be more proud of his team.
“I’m really proud of this team and what they have done,” Rogers said. “I’m looking forward to season.”
With only eight SCIAC home games this year it is important for team to get all the support they can from the school and community at their games.
“Any support from the community, other teams and students and faculty would be appreciated at our games,” Copas said.
“We want to make our community proud,” Musashi said. “Having someone there to support you brings out the fire and makes you want to work that much harder.”
The Leopards will continue their preseason at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at home at the Frantz Athletic Court against the Whitman Missionaries from Walla Walla, Wash.
The team will begin its season at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at Whittier.
Taylor Perez-Graham can be reached at email@example.com.