By Brandon DeJesus, Staff Writer
Follow him @WRSEBrandon
After finishing with 19 victories last season (the most in 32 years), the EC Women’s basketball team will be bringing back an important core of players to push for a CCIW championship this season.
“Last year was definitely a very special year and the good thing is we have a very good core group that is still around,” said Bluejays head coach Tethnie Carrillo, who is returning for her 11th season. “Mikaela Eppard, who is a first team All-Conference player, will be returning and Kaela Jones, second team All-Conference.”
Eppard, a senior guard/forward, is coming off a historic season in which she was named a third-team All-American (the first EC women’s player to have that honor before her senior year) and was also named as a top 10 finalist for the Josten’s Trophy for National Player of the Year.
Eppard was also named one of the captains for the team and she was asked what it means to have that label.
“I think it is just a sense of leadership, coming back and being veterans on the team. We have a lot of incoming freshman, so we are keeping things together, making sure things go smoothly,” said Eppard.
Jones, a senior forward, was asked the same question and said “I think it is like a big sister role because these girls come in very scared and think that the coaches are these big bad evil people even though they are not and I think it has calmed them down and to figure out that basketball is here for fun.”
When practice comes around, coaches and players get a sense of who is standing out. Carrillo had some thoughts on who she thinks is stepping up thus far.
“Hannah Henderson, who is a senior, is doing a really good job of running the point or the off guard, being able to get to the basket and she is the person that we are going to count on to be our number one defender, to be able to stop the other team's best guard so she is already in form,” said Carrillo.
“Jasmin Bailey is another senior that we will rely on her outside shooting and she is doing a really good job of that,” Carrillo continued.
The team will be taking on UW-Whitewater in the season opener and Jones was asked about what they can expect from them.
“I think that the CCIW is very guard oriented and Whitewater is very post oriented, very big, strong and scrappy and I think that is something that will help us grow as a team,” said Jones.
“I think we will be able to hang in there with them, it will be good, it will be a competitive game and it will give us a good sense on how the season is going to go,” said Eppard when asked about UW-Whitewater.
The women’s basketball team will open up their season at Faganel Hall on Wednesday Nov. 15 at 5:30 p.m. against the aforementioned UW-Whitewater Warhawks.