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The women’s bas­ketball team prac­tices and pre­pares for its upcoming season.

The Hillsdale College women’s bas­ketball team secured two vic­tories against Ohio Valley Uni­versity, 100 – 67 at home on Feb. 20, and 109 – 62 at OVU on Feb. 23. 

Sophomore forward Sydney Mills said the team is enthu­si­astic about the wins and excited to keep the streak going.

“We had been working all season to get coach Averkamp and our­selves a home win and I think it was nice to finally see our hard work pay off as we have been so close in so many other games,” Mills said. “Going into this next week of games I know everyone on our team wants to use the momentum of that win and end the year on a win streak.”

Head coach Charlie Averkamp said his players exerted them­selves and played with aggression and energy in the first quarter of Saturday’s game.

“I’m obvi­ously very excited,” Averkamp said. “Playing at home, we really want to protect the home court and I’m just really proud of the way the team came out and attacked.”

According to Averkamp, the Chargers had lots to cel­e­brate after their victory on Sat­urday, including sophomore forward Arianna Sysum scoring a career high of 24 points.

“Ari just keeps coming a long way and her ath­leticism really makes her game go and we’re proud of the way she’s coming along,” Averkamp said.

Another star on the court was senior guard Jaycie Burger, who did a triple-double, which Averkamp described as unbe­lievably rare. Averkamp com­pli­mented her well-rounded game and her lack of turnovers in the Sat­urday game. 

“It was very special to be able to get a triple-double on Sat­urday,” Burger said. “I’m thankful to have great team­mates and coaches around me that make things like that possible.”

Though the team fell to Ursuline College on Feb. 18, the team still cel­e­brated Mills achieving her career high of 34 points. Averkamp said she averaged a double-double, which he said was very impressive.

“I hon­estly sur­prised myself that I scored 34 points against Ursuline,” Mills said. “Coach Averkamp always talks about con­fi­dence, not thinking twice when shooting and just knowing you are going to make it, and I think he has really helped me grow in my con­fi­dence scoring this season.” 

Averkamp said it has been rewarding for him to watch the team’s hard work pay off.

“The biggest thing is seeing the team find that success,” Averkamp said. “Record-wise, it’s not been the year we wanted to have but we’ve come together and seen what we need to do to be suc­cessful. The kids are stepping up to dif­ferent roles than they were in the past and it’s been really fun to watch.”

Burger said she feels great about the team’s recent successes.

“We were able to put the ball in the basket,” Burger said. “It was fun to be able to get two good wins with teammates.”

In order to qualify for the post­season, the team would have to win the game against Cedarville on Feb. 27, 1 p.m. Averkamp said the Chargers are excited to compete again, and above all, thankful for the oppor­tu­nities they’ve had to play this year.

“We enjoy being together as a group and we’re really starting to build that foun­dation of how we want to do things,” Averkamp said. “I’m really proud of the way the kids are buying in and I want to see them grow and con­tinue to improve.”