Women’s Basketball team ranks high by NCAA prepares for spring games, ODAC
Sometimes expectations are not met, but the Guilford College women’s basketball team has been meeting their expectations so far this season.
The team has an overall record of 19-3 and are 12-2 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The regular season ends Saturday with a game at Washington and Lee University. The Quakers will then move into the postseason to try and capture an ODAC championship that evaded them last year. They fell to Lynchburg College, 62-55 in last season’s championship game
“There’s some games I feel like we should’ve won, but overall everything is a learning experience,” said head coach Stephanie Flamini. “You learn from it and then you hope that when you get into postseason everything you learned from the regular season you do better. We’re in good position right now. If we can go undefeated the last four, I’ll be extremely pleased.”
This year, Lynchburg is once again a competitor for Guilford as they are in first place of the ODAC. Guilford lost at Lynchburg on January 4, 74-61, but on February 1st the Quakers beat the Hornets, 58-48. That game gave Lynchburg its first ODAC loss of the season.
“It was really great to give them their first loss in conference,” said senior forward Heaven Walters. “That gave us some motivation going into the ODAC and the rest of our regular season games.”
Guilford’s other ODAC loss came from Eastern Mennonite University, who sits third in the conference with an 11-3 record.
The Quakers offense has struggled recently as they have had a four-game stretch of scoring less than 60 points.
While their offense may have struggled, their defense has been spectacular. They held opponents to 54.5 points per game. Guilford has held opponents to 33.8 percent shooting while shooting 44 percent themselves.
“I’m never satisfied with our defense but I thought that, against Lynchburg, we did a really good job,” said Flamini. “I think when we want to play defense we have a great defense, it’s just a matter of getting them to do it every single game.”
The Quakers have been led by senior forward Anais Weatherly who averages 14.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Weatherly’s 4.2 steals per game ranks fifth in the nation for Division III. Weatherly has also tallied nine double doubles throughout the season.
The Quakers have four seniors on this year’s team. Weatherly, Walters, guard Amy Steller and guard Kate Clark have been big components of the team during their time at Guilford. They led the team to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year and hope to do so again this year.
“We won two (ODAC) championships in a row and then they had to take over and it’s really hard to continue that success and they’ve done a great job doing it,” said Flamini. “You can’t downplay what they have meant to our program and meant to the success of the past four years here.”
Weatherly, Walters and junior guard Lauren Ramsey all average more than 10 points per game.
The women’s basketball team was recently ranked by the NCAA in their regional rankings. In the South region Guilford was in fifth place, with ODAC leaders Lynchburg in fourth.
“We’re really trying to win an (ODAC) championship, that’s the ultimate goal,” said Walters. “Also, we want to make it to the NCAA tournament and try to get to the second round at least, like last year.”
If the Quakers win the ODAC championship they earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. If they do not, they have a slim possibility of getting an at-large bid.
“We want to win the ODAC championship,” said Flamini. “I don’t think that you can have any other goal right now.”