The Elizabethtown College women’s basketball team faced two challenging games last week. The first game was held on Wednesday against Lebanon Valley College and the second on Saturday against Alvernia University. Both games were played in the Blue Jays’ home territory in Thompson Gym.
The team knew the game on Wednesday, Jan. 18 against Lebanon Valley would be a challenge. The Blue Jays, who have improved greatly since last season, eagerly awaited the game against the undefeated Flying Dutchmen.
The Blue Jays followed closely behind Lebanon Valley’s lead the entire game, proving to be a threat to the Dutchmen. “You can’t fault the team for not having a heart, we were undersized compared to them but we really stuck with them,” Etown’s Head Coach Yvonne Kauffman said.
With two minutes left in the game, the score was tied 43 to 43. By the end of the game LVC had made 22 foul shots, while Etown only made five. This eventually led to LVC defeating Etown by six points, with a score of 51-45. LVC continued to be undefeated with a record of 5-0 in the Commonwealth Conference. Despite the loss, Etown put up a good fight and can only be proud of their accomplishments so far this season.
Kauffman expected nothing less from her team on Saturday’s game against Alvernia.
The first half of the game was fairly steady, leaving the score 40-33 with an Alvernia lead. At the start of the second half, the Blue Jays made a comeback through their teamwork on the court. Etown proceeded to score 39 points while Alvernia scored 13 points, leading to an Etown victory of 72-53 against the Alvernia Crusaders. Etown women’s basketball now holds a Commonwealth Conference record of 4-2.
Perhaps the team’s key to success this season lies within each of the players. Each player brings something different to the table but on the court they work cohesively. “The high scorers are different each game. Players who come off the bench and replace the starters can often make up for the person they fill in for,” Kauffman explained. “It’s nice to have a team like this my last year.”
The team had plenty of bonding time while on a trip to tropical San Juan, Puerto Rico Dec. 16 through Dec. 22. The women played two games and set the tone for the rest of the season by bringing home two wins. “Spending 6 days in San Juan really allowed us to get to know each other better. From hiking through the rain forest, snorkeling, touring Old San Juan and playing basketball in an entirely different atmosphere against teams we’ve never seen before, allowed us to form great memories as a team,” sophomore guard Kendra Beittel said.
While most Etown students were home on winter break, the women’s basketball team was preparing for their games against Albright and Widener. Both games brought victory to the Blue Jays. Etown crushed Albright with a score of 70-42 and defeated Widener 55-46.
Kauffman and her team have high hopes for the rest of the season. “I think our biggest goal is to make it into playoffs this year. We were one spot short of playoffs last year,” Beittel said. The team’s bond, teamwork and practice can be seen through the results of the season so far. “Our team can go against anyone. If playing well, we can beat them. The team is always ready to bring their A-game,” Kauffman said confidently. There is no doubt the women expect to see more wins in their future.
The Etown women’s basketball team will play their next home game against Arcadia on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. in Thompson Gym.