A new team, a new challenge, a new season. That’s what the Foresters women’s basketball encountered October 31 as they kicked off their season with a home opener against Olivet Nazarene.
Coach Culler graduated Miranda Palmer, Allyson Trout, and Gina Eisenhut from last year’s squad, but she has her team primed and ready for the 2017-2018 season.
Culler’s senior class consists of Hailey Krewald and Brooke Yoder. Returning with them is junior Brooke Saylor, who was the team’s leading rebounder in the previous season, sophomore Sarah Fryman, who provided solid minutes for the Foresters, and Maddie Richer, who will be the team’s returning point guard.
The graduation of the scoring threats of Palmer and Trout leaves the Foresters with some big shoes to fill, but Culler is confident that her players will step up to the challenge.
“This team has a lot of shooting capability” she said. “We will need to have a number of players step up to deliver double figures in order to be successful this season.”
Last summer, the team traveled to Jamaica for a missions trip, and the experiences gained while there and the important time spent together has had a significant impact on the overall chemistry on the team.
Krewald remembers the trip as an amazing bonding experience, as it “strengthened the relationships” on the team.
“It made us become vulnerable, and we got to see a different side of ourselves,” Krewald said. “It proved that we can work together — and we happen to be pretty good at it.”
This off-season, Coach Culler has made an emphasis on becoming a stronger defensive unit — one of their weaknesses last season. Last year, they averaged 74 points per game while allowing 70 points per game.
“With the loss of the all-time leading scorer,” Culler said, “we will need to tighten up on how many points we are giving up. We need to focus on making every position difficult for our opposition.”
This young team has undergone a lot of relational construction over the summer and pre-season, and are centering this upcoming season around Philippians 1:6, which says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”