November 13, 2014

Team looks to fly high against Warhawks in opener

This basketball season will start with the Maroons being mindful of the year’s distant end.

A year ago, the Maroons finished 15–10. Their 9–5 conference record was good enough to put them behind only Wash U in the final UAA standings. But with the start of a new season, the team has its eyes set on a greater horizon; they will look to replicate the magic of 2011–2012, when the first defeat of the season came in the NCAA tournament sectional semifinal. Finishing first, then, is the Maroons’ goal. Second won’t quite be satisfactory.

“There are many things our team has set to accomplish by the end of our season; a run in the tournament being the culmination of those goals,” said fourth-year forward Ali Shaw.

Leading the way will be fourth-year guard Claire Devaney and second-year forward Britta Nordstrom. Last year, Devaney averaged 12.7 points to go along with 7.5 rebounds per game. For her efforts, she earned First Team All-UAA Honors. Meanwhile, Nordstrom’s 10.6 points and 3.6 rebounds averages were enough to gain Second Team All-UAA recognition.

However, Chicago’s success will hinge on more than the contribution of just two individuals. Each player is an integral part of the team, and each seems to recognize the value of chemistry and camaraderie. The group consists of nine upperclassmen and seven younger teammates. The former will seek to provide experience and guidance, the latter freshness and enthusiasm. Together, they hope these qualities will yield success.

The first time Chicago will have a chance to prove its strength will come on Saturday against UW–Whitewater. Last year, the game between these two teams ended in a loss for the Maroons (90–76). For the opposing Warhawks, the game was just one of their 27 victories, a prelude to their 16–0 undefeated conference record. But that competition is not what will be on the Maroons’ mind as they start the season; instead, they will take to the court with confidence and optimism. Victory is in their sights.

“We are entering this season with a lot of excitement and are looking forward to competing on Saturday against UW–Whitewater,” Shaw said.

Heading into the game, then, the Maroons seek to have a wonderful start to what they hope will be an even more wonderful season. Chicago will face UW–Whitewater on the road at 2 p.m. tomorrow. As the basketball season commences, the excitement and anticipation for what the future holds just now begins. Stay tuned.