As the unpredictable school year continues to throw curveballs, the PV girls basketball team stays strong and motivated. With the new coaching staff and COVID-19 setbacks, the team tries to continue to grow and perfect their playing skills and gameday performance. Although this year has brought many struggles and challenges to many, this does not stop the girls basketball team from trying their best at the sport they love the most.
The girls discuss some of the challenges and setbacks, but more importantly, focus on how challenges had a positive impact on the team and how it allowed them to grow.
“Being a part of the team has given me a group of girls that I can call my second family. I definitely gained some patience and some leadership skills.” Gabby Marinacci, a point guard attending her freshman year at Gwynedd Mercy University said. Gabby, a PV basketball alumna, explains her love for the sport and how the team resembled her “second family.”
This year, the girls basketball team has an entirely new coaching staff and is faced with the difficulties of COVID-19 restrictions. The challenges that were faced have given the girls more strength and confidence going into this delayed season.
“COVID has made a huge impact on the season this year because it prevented us from having tryouts at a normal time and prevented us from having preseason practice, so we don’t have a lot of time to prepare for the season.” Emma Miley, a junior guard and shooting guard, said. She also touched on how the team practice dribbling over Zoom calls and how that affects the team bonding.
Besides facing the challenges, and struggles of this unpredictable season, they are still trying to remain motivated.
“Our team struggled last year playing together and getting wins, but we have grit and resilience and all love playing basketball. We all have a desire to win and with a new coaching staff, we hope to set goals and play as a team to achieve more wins as a team,” Jennifer Beattie, a junior guard, said.
The new coaching staff consists of Mr. Russo, the head varsity coach, Mr. Rodgers, the assistant varsity coach, and Mr. Hodson, the junior varsity coach. With the help of the new coaching staff this year, the girls hope to continue their success and grow as a whole team.
“I feel very confident in the new coaching staff, they have all shown they are ready and determined to win. They have been taking out a lot of their time on us so we can succeed,” Hannah Salazar, a senior point guard, said.
The new coaching staff is looking forward to the upcoming season and are setting goals for the team, so that they can focus on improving, while following the COVID-19 precautions.
“My goal with the girls this season is to get them to learn to play with and for each other. I hope to help them find some unity in the sport they love to play. Nothing better than when a basketball team plays as on,” Coach Russo said.
“I am looking forward to seeing how the girls respond to adversity throughout the seasons. With the Covid precautions and no summer, fall, or regular practice schedule, so it will be an uphill climb for us to grow and how we react to that, will dictate how the season goes,” Russo said.
Photo: Isabella Ewing