By Anna Jaumandreu
After three conference losses, the Simpson Women’s Basketball team earned their first conference win Jan. 29 against Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The women’s basketball team had been through a tough journey. Loss after loss, the team kept fighting through the pre-season to start the conference with the best chances to win as possible. The first three games were intense, and the team had chances to win but did not.
The day before Embry-Riddle, the team lost against Park University Gilbert 50-57.
“Everyone was ready to do whatever it took to win. We were so tired of losing in really close games we could’ve won,” Sandra Berrocal said, one of the team captains.
On the day to play against Embry-Riddle all the odds were in favor for Simpson. The Red Hawks led 33-23 at the half. Starting the second half, Embry-Riddle got hot on their shots, and started to reduce the difference in the score until they were ahead 40-44.
The Red Hawks fought through uncalled fouls, turnovers and missed layups, the team recovered their rhythm and tightened the score. All the practices, all the lost games, all the days where the bodies hurt, injuries and frustration were about to pay off. The last two minutes were crucial, and everything was decided by two free-throws that Berrocal put inside the basket, ending the game 57-54, and giving the team the first win in a conference game.
Coach Mendez said the win was necessary, the team needed a boost of confidence and assurance that the team was able to beat a good team.
“We needed it really badly. I think moral wise when you go a stretch where you lose so many games in a row, you start losing confidence in yourself, and I think it really did help recover some confidence,” Mendez said.
The job is still not done. Mendez said that sometimes after a win the team relaxes, but he states that his players are all fighters.
As of right now, the coach said he has full confidence the team has a very good opportunity to make it through the Cal Pac Conference, but he also explained that these three upcoming games will give the team the answer.
The Simpson Women’s Basketball team had won a total of four games in a row.