By Morgan Swem
Florida Southern College’s women’s basketball team opened the season with its first game of the regular season on Friday Nov. 11 at 12 p.m, sweeping their opponent, Shorter. The match was the first of two games in the annual SSC/GSC Challenge. The Lady Mocs continued on to face Lee on Saturday Nov. 12 at 12 p.m. and again, crushed the game.
The first two games of the season proved the Mocs are back and ready to conquer this year. With earning double the amount of points in the game against Shorter, 84-42, the Lady Mocs also swept the game against Lee, earning a 61-45 win.
The Lady Mocs look forward to another strong season ahead of them. They will be entering the 2016-2017 season ranked No. 6 in the county according to the WBCA Division II coaches poll. They were also recently ranked No. 4 in the NCAA South Region rankings. On top of that, according to the D2SIDA media poll, the Lady Mocs are to be ranked No. 1 in the South Region.
Last year, the Mocassins were ranked No. 9 after winning the South Region and advancing onto the Elite Eight. They are one of only two Sunshine State Conference teams to be ranked in the top 25. Nova Southeastern was ranked No. 23 and was the other Sunshine State Conference team to be ranked in the top 25.
“I am excited for basketball to start up again. I went to a few games last year. I like that it is a more faced paced game and more students show up to basketball games than any other sport on campus,” sophomore Nicole Glatz said.
Seven players will be returning from last year’s team. Among these are players, Katie Roche, Jenny Bollinger, Jensen Blassage, Danielle Thomas, Camille Giardina, Anja Fuchs-Robetin, Flo Ward, and Samantha Famulare who advanced the team to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament and finished the season with 27-6.
Blassage was voted the MVP of last years South Regional. Giardina was presented with two awards last year. She was awarded the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the year as well as Division II Bulletin all-Freshman selection. The seven familiar faces returning to Florida Sothern’s team played over 30 games last year. Florida Southern women’s basketball head coach, Betsy Harris, added seven new teammates during the offseason to the team as well. Out of those seven players, three of those new players were transfer students.
“I was here when the men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II basketball championship. I remember how the whole school was excited and happy and we all celebrated when the boys came back home. I think it would be really cool for the girls to have a shot at that. The girls had such a good season last year, and I hope that this year will be even better,” Junior Allison Badgley said.
Florida Southern was also recently predicted by Hero Sports to win the South Region this year. The Sunshine State Conference preseason coaches poll predicted that the Florida Southern Mocs to be second in the South Region this year. While the ladies face high expectations, only time will tell where the season leads.