Yeowomen Remain Confident Despite Injuries

Michaela Puterbaugh

The women’s basketball team had one of their best games of the season last Saturday as they maintained a close game with the number one ranked team in Division III, the DePauw University Tigers. Though they fell 67–62, the Yeowomen fought hard the entire game and trailed by only three points late in the second half.

“I couldn’t have been any more proud of them,” said Head Coach Kerry Jenkins. “That’s the best game they’ve played in about three years.” Jenkins said he hadn’t expected such a close game and advised his players to “be able to live with your result” before the game.

The Yeowomen’s record sits at 8–12 for the season, with the team struggling to overcome injuries as of late. Coping with season–ending injuries to post players senior Allison Gannon and sophomores Katie Lucaites and Caitlyn Grubb has been a challenge, and the team has lost seven games in a row.

“We’ve just had to get a little more creative in the way we score and defend, because we don’t have the size that other teams have,” said junior Christina Marquette. Implementing offensive motion options and working with a defensive zone have also been key to adjusting to the injuries.

First-year Eleanor Van Buren has been forced to step up, as she is now the team’s tallest post player. She scored a career high of 12 points against the Kenyon College Ladies in a game on Jan. 29. Marquette also noted that sophomore Lindsey Bernhardt has upped her play as of late. “She has really stepped up this year with her scoring,” Marquette said. Bernhardt recently netted a career high of six three–pointers in one game.

Marquette has done her part to keep the team afloat and has recorded 12 double-doubles during the season, while averaging 18.3 points per game. She has 366 points this season and stands as the seventh highest scorer in Oberlin women’s basketball history.

While Marquette has had a lot of success on the court, her favorite moment of the season was in early January. “[We had] a three–game conference win streak capped off by Malisa Hoak’s buzzer beater against Hiram College,” she reminisced.

While most opposing teams tend to have a full bench, the Yeowomen are unswayed by their depleted roster. “We have eight talented and capable players, and we do not ever let up,” Bernhardt said.

Though wins have been hard to come by lately, Coach Jenkins has been impressed with the team’s effort. “I couldn’t single out any one player. I think that it really is a team dynamic right now. Everybody has stepped up,” he said.

Although the team has naturally good chemistry, Winter Term was a chance for the team to become even closer, since there were fewer students on campus. “We coordinated times to watch College games or ESPN’s 30 for 30; we ate all of our meals together and straight from there we would go hang out,” said first-year Briana Santiago.

Bernhardt agreed. “Winter Term was the most fun I have ever had with the team,” she said. “Just being together and enjoying each other’s company was great.”

With only five games left in the regular season, Bernhardt seems sure that the Yeowomen will finish strong. “I know that we will peak and start winning games again, and losing to the number one team in the country by only five last Saturday shows that.”

While the Yeowomen are not guaranteed a spot in the playoffs just yet, Coach Jenkins thinks that their chances are good. “We feel comfortable that we are going to make the playoffs, but we do not know where we are going to play or who we are going to play against,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Denison University or Allegheny College; whoever it is, we’re going to play the exact same way and do the things we are strongly suited to do,” he said.