The Daily Aztec

Women’s basketball brings high expectations

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Senior guard Geena Gomez plans her attack during a game in the 2016-17 season.

Senior guard Geena Gomez plans her attack during a game in the 2016-17 season.

Photo by Kelly Smiley

Photo by Kelly Smiley

Senior guard Geena Gomez plans her attack during a game in the 2016-17 season.

by Tristi Rodriguez, Staff Writer

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San Diego State women’s basketball is ready for redemption.

After an up-and-down 2016-17 season, including many injuries and a six-game losing streak, the Aztecs are looking to prevent another rollercoaster campaign.

Fresh faces, coupled with veteran leadership, has the team determined, and head coach Stacie Terry said this team has the most potential of any she has coached at SDSU.

“I’m really excited about the season because I think this is the most talented team we have coming back to start the season,” Terry said. “Expectations are higher. We spent the last six to eight weeks really working on concepts. Whatever they throw at us, our girls have seen it in some form or fashion in practice.”

Senior guard Geena Gomez said the team has worked on their comradery and conditioning in the offseason.   

“We get a lot of work in the weight room, more than we’ve done in the past to help prevent (future losses).”

Senior guard Khalia Lark said the team has faced many challenges, but in the end the team will benefit from them.

“We have been thrown a lot of different obstacles within practices and workouts that have made it extremely difficult for us, on purpose, to try to help us build good habits when it comes to adversary,” Lark said.

The Aztecs have less than two weeks before their first match up.

The team prepares for its opponents by practicing, watch film and going over the basics.

“We spend a lot of time watching film of our opponents and of ourselves trying to tighten up some things,” Lark said. “And just understanding strategy and what we need to do as far as execution is concerned.”

Getting ready for a game, however, is more than sticking to strict procedures, and Gomez said letting loose is also key.

“As a team when we have home games, about an hour before the game, we like to have some dance battles and some singing battles going on,” Gomez said.

Lark said that this Aztecs team is different than those of years past

“This year it’s going to be a lot different because we have so many vets and so much knowledge,” Lark said. “We also have so many young ones that are just beginning their collegiate journey, so I think it’s a unique mixture of older girls and younger girls trying to come together for a common goal.”

The new faces include freshmen guards Te’a Adams, Najé Murray and Jenay Bojorquez, who will be playing alongside six seniors.

Terry stressed the importance of teamwork on and off the court between the new players and  her returning seniors.

“It really goes into our senior leadership, which is by far the best that we’ve had since I’ve been here for the past four years,” Terry said. “I’m going to encourage that because I think we need that leadership on and off the floor.”

Lark transferred to SDSU from the University of Washington during fall 2016, after playing with the Huskies for two seasons.

“Here it’s truly like a family,” Lark said.  “We have a different type of atmosphere… there’s a lot of love all around, so that was kind of the deciding factor for me to transfer here.”

Gomez said that she has set individual goals for herself as well as for the team.

“I want to lead the Mountain West in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio,” Gomez said. “As a team I want to do well enough in the Mountain West to get us a good seed in the tournament and win the tournament, and move on to the NCAA.”

Lark also has lofty goals for herself in her farewell senior season.

“I want to average a double-double, and lead the team in rebounding,” Lark said. “As far as the team is concerned, I want to win the Mountain West tournament and make it to the NCAA Tournament.” 

Terry said it would be nice to have a little more support from fans at games.

“I really am proud of this team and what they’ve been able to do, and how hard they’ve been working. So obviously we all would love to have people in the stands,” Terry said.

SDSU will begin it’s regular season on Nov. 10, going up  against Presbyterian College at Viejas Arena.

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