Despite 0-2, Zeh’s team hopes for a quick turnaround

By Robert Janish

Senior Sports Writer

The 2015-16 campaign for the Canisius Women’s Basketball team has not gotten off to the best of starts. The team has compiled an 0-2 record with losses to both Youngstown State Penguins and the University at Buffalo Bulls.

While there is still a long season, this type of slow start is not what head coach Terry Zeh and his team envisioned the way this season would start for a team that needed great improvement from the way last season had ended with an early exit in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships in Albany last March.

In order to prepare for the season, senior Crystal Porter believes that Coach Zeh has been trying to get them into game pace shape, along with a few new techniques that have been added for this season, which includes being able to read the defender much more efficiently than prior.

Sophomore Abby Schwenk believes that one of the most important parts of being a team is getting a new look at the new players for this year. It’s also important to look at the non-basketball qualities of the game as well such as “our mental toughness and our intensity, which has been working well so far and hopefully it can continue throughout the rest of our games for the rest of the season.”

Porter, who is currently leading her squad in the rebounds department, stresses the importance of being able to play a factor on that side of the ball. “It’s all about if you want it or not, and to just box a person and go get it.”

Schwenk, a starter in only her sophomore season, is very grateful for this opportunity Zeh has given her and can only hope to keep it. “It’s a great opportunity to have to be in the starting five, and I’m just looking for all of us to play together and to score the best ways we can. I’m just trying to work together with the team and see the ways in which we’re going to score best and win the game best.”

When it comes to improvements that can be made within the team, Porter believes that “our intensity needs to be a lot better.” As a result of this, she believes practices will be a lot more intense in order to improve on their shortcomings in that department, “including rebounding and box out drills because that’s killing us right now defensively.”

Schwenk believes that through these intense practices, Zeh is trying to “develop our mentality to look at the mistakes we made last game, learn from them, then move on to the next one so that we can actually get some wins this year.”

“Offensively, we’re mostly going to work on attacking the basket and also getting to the free throw line,” Porter said. She added as a team that does not happen a lot and it needs to start becoming a more frequent occurrence within a game. “Defensively, we want to rebound and our defense is okay but it’s the second and third-chance shots that are killing us right now.”

Schwenk says another key is to also be reading the defenses and says that “defensively, communication is a big thing, whether it’s transition or half-court defense, and also be able to read and understand each other.”

Porter believes that earning their first win of the season will help them “get a big boost of confidence.” She says that the year has not started how they wanted, but once the first win comes, “we are good enough to do this, we’re getting better and we’re going to do it.”

Schwenk shares her teammate’s feelings, stating that 0-2 is not the way they wanted to start this new season. “When you lose two games, it’s hard to take mentally and physically, and the first win will definitely boost our confidence and moral, but it’s also going to show that our hard work has paid off.”

They hope to earn that first win in their home opener tomorrow at the Koessler Athletic Center against the St. Francis Red Flash.

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