Fresh faces step up for women’s basketball

In the 2017-2018 season, the Guilford College women’s basketball team placed fourth in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, finishing the season with a record of 11-5. This season, however, has proved much more difficult for the Quakers whose record is currently 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the conference, earning them the second spot in ODAC rankings.

The Quakers began their season with a conference win against Roanoke College followed by close losses against Greensboro College, Emory University and Virginia Wesleyan University. The team had victories against Roanoke College and Salem College.

Head Coach Stephanie Flamini, is excited about the mix of new faces on the court this year and is hopeful for seasons ahead.

“We have returners that weren’t expecting to take leadership roles yet and due to other circumstance have had to. They are trying to work through how and what that looks like for them earlier than expected,” said Flamini. “We have a lot of new faces that are right out of high school that have been put in starting roles and have to step up with a lack of college experience which they are now about to get this season. The lumps we take this year will pay off in the next three years. Unfortunately, we have to go through this to get better. I have dealt with this before when building a program.”

For junior center Rachel Lippert, the team is showing resilience even in the face of defeat. “Through tough losses I think the team has remained steadfast in their perseverance to problem solve after a defeat,” said Lippert.  “Going over film, working on skill sets needed to be a winning program and being patient with the growth of a young team.”

In past seasons, the women’s basketball team has been a strong program boasting a roster full of experienced players. This year, the team seems to be undergoing a transition, helping newer players to adjust to the program.

“We have had a very strong program where (first-years) typically don’t play or if they do, they have a very experienced group around them helping them through their first year,” Flamini said.

This season’s team boasts strong players, including junior forward Miracle Walters, who averages 14.5 points every game. Walters is joined by sophomore guard Calyn Davis who averages 9.9 points per game and first-year guard Lindsay Gauldin with 9.5. Gauldin also averages 9.3 rebounds per game and has had five games with at least 10 rebounds.

However, despite these initial troubles, the team still hopes to place highly in the ODAC Conference. The team has a history of placing highly in the conference. In the 2017-2018 season, the team placed fourth, and in 2016-2017, the team placed first. The Quakers are currently averaging 57.6 points per game, a strong place to begin the season.

Davis is hopeful for the season and conference play.

“The team’s most notable success so far, was beating Roanoke in our first game of the season,” said Davis. “Being able to pick up an ODAC win in our first game of the year was huge.”

For the rest of the season, Flamini and the team intend to work hard.

“Our goal every day is to improve. That is it,” Flamini said.

The Quakers play again Saturday, Dec. 8 at Bridgewater College, and at home on Friday, Dec. 14 against Meredith College.