Halfway through the season, Wesmen teams of different courts agree on one thing: they need to be more consistent.
With their record currently just below .500, the women’s basketball team should bump their record to 4-4 tonight when they take on crosstown-rivals, the University of Manitoba Bisons.
After two tough loses against the University of Alberta Pandas on Nov. 18 and 19 (31-53 and 38-62), the Wesmen bounced back and rolled over the Bisons on Nov. 24.
Mackenzie Prasek, a fifth year co-captain, said the team came together to annihilate the Bisons at the Duckworth Center, 72-53.
“We really came out playing as a team this week,” she said. “Everyone contributed, we fought hard right till the end and we stayed together for a full 40 minutes.”
After a first half of ups and downs, fifth-year guard Amy Ogidan said the team needs to keep the positive energy from the game and improve their consistency.
“We have learned a lot of lessons through the first half of the season,” Ogidan said. “Defensively we have improved, and on offense we are starting to read each other better each game.”
Men’s basketball head coach Mike Raimbault said his team has faced similar struggles in their first half of season. They’re looking for a win tonight against the Bisons to bump their record up from 2-5 to 3-5.
The team has quite a few new players who are still getting used to playing together, Raimbault said.
“It’s been an up and down first half for us,” Raimbault said. “It’s a lot of the same things as last year, with new players and bringing the guys together.”
James Horaska and Eric Zimmerman have returned to the Wesmen for their fifth year after a year off, while others like Mark McNee and Dominique Brown have transferred from other universities to play for UW.
Raimbault thinks that as the players learn to read each other on the floor, the team’s record will continue to improve.
“We’ve definitely grown as a group,” he said.
The Wesmen women’s volleyball team is setting itself up for a play-off position come February, for the first time in more than five years.
The team has rolled over the competition in the first half of their season. If they continue on their winning streak and defeat the Regina Cougars this weekend, their record will be an impressive 10-2.
Fifth year captain Lauren Sears said there is a different mentality to the team this year.
“I think what makes this team so different from the team in previous years is that we look at everything from the glass as half-full,” she said. “We always take something positive away from every game.”
Sears has played all five years with the Wesmen, and is excited by the possibility of playoffs in her last year. Looking to the second half of season, she said that there are things the team needs to improve upon in order to keep their play off position a reality.
“We need to be able to finish those games without letting up by being more efficient towards the ends of sets,” she said.
For the men’s team, it’s been a tough first half. The team sits at 2-8, but they’re planning on improving it to 4-8 this weekend when they take on the Cougars in the Duckworth Centre.
Looking to the second semester, first year Josh McKay said the team needs to work on staying together till the end of every set. If they can do that, the second half of season will be much more successful.
“IWe have to work on closing games late in sets,” he said. “We have been able to do this a couple times but it isn’t consistent yet.”
Published in Volume 66, Number 14 of The Uniter (November 30, 2011)