Thursday, November 12, 2015

Vol State Basketball Poised for a Fresh Start

The 2015-16 Lady Pioneers
With a group of freshmen and only one returning player on each team, a fresh start is in the cards as both the men’s and women’s basketball teams prepare for the 2015-16 basketball season.

Both teams began conference play this past weekend, playing against Columbia State. The Lady Pioneers ended the game with a 79-48 win over the Lady Chargers, while the Pioneers suffered a 114-93 loss Saturday. The next home game for both teams is Nov. 14 against Motlow State.

“We’ve got a big learning curve and a lot of work to do, but they’re improving daily, and that’s all I can ask for,” Lady Pioneers coach Otis Key said.

Last year, the Lady Pioneers saw 12 overall wins during the season. With a bunch of fresh faces on the team, Key said it sets them up for a good learning opportunity to improve on last year’s game.

“They all come in with one singular goal in mind, and I get to mold that and kind of sculpt that into what we’ll have for two years with some of them, and I’m excited for that,” he said.

Sophomore Kyndal Hale is this year’s captain and the only returning player on the roster. She’s hoping her experience will help set the team up for a great season.

“It’s definitely exciting. There’s 14 brand new faces. I have to learn how to work with all of them being incoming freshmen, and they have to learn how to work with me. I was one of the only freshmen last year, so me getting the chance to show them everything is really exciting,” Hale said.

The men's team practices for this week's series of games.
The men’s team is hoping for a major improvement over last year’s less-than-stellar season, according to coach Rusty Melvin.

“We just want to be competitive every night. With a team of all freshmen, I just want us to learn how to play as a team, and then play to win,” he said.

There are a total of seven conference games before Christmas, four of which are away games, and Melvin said that in itself is going to present a challenge to the team. But it’s a challenge they’re excited for.

“It’s going to be a touch schedule. My goal is with five minutes to go in a game, we are still being competitive,” Melvin said.

Like Hale, sophomore Connor Peach is the only returning player on the men’s team. He said he has a good feeling about the team’s performance this season.

“It’s a little different being the only returning player, but we have a lot better squad than last year, and I really look forward to what that means for us during the rest of the season,” he said.

This weekend’s home game will begin at 2 p.m. with the women’s team, followed by the men’s team at 4 p.m. Click here for a full schedule of this year's games. Games are free for students, faculty, and staff. Admission is $5.

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