Women’s Club Basketball: The Journey to Nationals

Article by: Sarah Oliva and Katie Mincin

This year, the Women’s Club Basketball team–a first-year club–is headed to nationals in North Carolina. As the only team in the Pacific NW to qualify for the tournament at NIRSA Regional Basketball Championships, the next closest clubs traveling to the tournament from the West Coast are LMU and USC. We wanted to find out exactly what it took for these girls to come together and accomplish this feat, especially being the fresh-out-of-the-gate, young club that they are. We simply asked the players, “What is the number one thing that helped bring your team to nationals”? These are the responses we got:

 Magenta Dumpit (captain/founder)

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“I honestly think that being a first year club helped us. Gonzaga is a really big power house for basketball and the fact that we didn’t have a girls team before really stoked everyone up and helped us go to nationals. Also, just the collective motivation that we had during regionals to beat everyone’s a****.”

Alex Claeys (captain/founder)

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“The endless support from friends, families, and the community we created at Gonzaga’s Women’s Club Basketball.”

Natalie Ochoa

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“Can I just say, I’d like to thank the Academy.”

Jacqie Evenson

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“I would just say the amount of fun that we have with each other and the hard work that we put in.”

Katherine Woodworth

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“All of our team bonding has built chemistry on the team– I mean we’re a new club so that’s one thing that’s always an issue for teams just starting out! Team bonding and just hanging out outside of basketball has really helped us.”

Sarah Ghods

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“I think the team dynamic that we have…we’re all really good friends or we’ve all become realy good friends! Sportsmanship as a team, and being really united on the same mindset. We all want to get there so we put the work in.”

Jess Latousek           

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“First half of the season I was in a boot, so that helped us get to nationals! Just kidding… Every practice we do a drill called bottoms; we always have a goal that we have to meet, and we’re all so competitive that we want to beat it and try to…we’re just really good ok!”

Carolyn Kvernvik

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“We play community colleges all season, so that helped us up our game. Overall, going to regionals, we just flow as a team and we’re really good at passing and have great chemistry. Or we mediated and ate burritos before every practice…no I wish.”

Hania Burrows

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“The captains (Magenta and Alex) show a lot of leadership and they kind of keep us on track. In practice, we play games where we have to reach a certain goal–like a certain number of baskets within a certain time period–those help us come together as a team, put a little more pressure on us and boosts our confidence a lot.” 

Quinn Kesselring

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“I think a lot of it was off the court to be honest. None of us really knew each other before besides a couple people. Once we all got to know each other, we’re really tight off the court and hang out a lot. I think cuz we have so much in common… it’s a different kind of connection when you have friends that you’re playing with on a team. I didn’t have that until this club started, we all have so much in common that it is easy to hang out. We’re all so competitive that we make each other work hard.”

The Team:

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Pictured, all 13 players, from top left, clockwise: Jacqie Evenson, Sarah Newcomb, Sarah Ghods, Carolyn Kvernvik, Alex Claeys, Katherine Woodworth, Lauren DeGooyer, Tracy Rider, Jess Latousek, Magenta Dumpit, Natalie Ochoa, Quinn Kesselring, and Hania Burrows.

 Goodluck  this weekend, GU Women’s Basketball!

 

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Categories: Sports

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