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.”