COLUMBIA — For the first time in two years, Stephens College girls basketball has seniors on the team.
Head coach Dane Pavlovich is happy to have girls on the team who have kept with the program until their senior year.
“We didn’t have players who were wanting to play all four years,” Pavlovich said. “They didn’t stick with it because of all of the challenges and difficulties with playing college ball and going to school.”
The four seniors, and two others who are sitting out due to injuries before the season started, have come to accept the challenges of practicing, playing games, being on the road and keeping up with schoolwork. Senior leadership and experience has been a great asset to the program this season.
“We were young for so long and now we have experience,” said Pavlovich.
Senior Rachel Henderson has been a member of the team since her freshman year. She has had challenges since then, but does not think it has been a huge struggle.
“Balancing my time between school and basketball was more difficult in earlier years,” said Henderson. “This season I feel more capable to take on the responsibility now that I am a senior.”
As seniors, the girls try to encourage the other players and help them if they have questions about things such as the plays or any of the drills they run.
“We hope that they feel comfortable,” said Henderson.
On Fridays before a Saturday game, the team has a movie night. This is another way the seniors have been trying to keep the team united and bring everyone together this season.
“Last year we had the first winning season since the reinstating of the basketball program,” said Henderson. “It is cool to be a part of and it is good motivation to help build the program.”