MU
Oak Leaves

February 12, 2016

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WALKING ON AIR Sophomore Katie Byers gains control of the ball. Photos by Savannah Riley.

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LONG ARM Sophomore Samantha Bolen outreaches her competition.

Women Shoot for Playoffs

Keith Berry

The Manchester women’s basketball team has been fighting for its playoff spot for the last couple of weeks and it is almost there. Determination, discipline and teamwork are needed to get a spot in the Heartland Collegiate Conference Tournament as the last games in the regular season begin take place.

The Spartans have not seemed like themselves this season compared to previous seasons. Despite the struggle, the Spartans are one game out of a 3-way tie for 6th place with Hanover College and Defiance College in conference play. The Spartans, who are 6-15 overall, 4-10 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC), have lost their last four games to Franklin College (14-7 overall, 10-4 HCAC), Mount Saint Joseph University (7-14 overall, 6-8 HCAC), Bluffton University (19-2 overall, 12-2 HCAC) and Hanover College (9-12 overall, 5-9 HCAC).

Their most recent loss was to Hanover Panthers (9-12 overall, 5-9 HCAC) losing 71-59 despite a second half comeback. The Spartans were down 23 points at the half and closed the gap to 11 points with 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Senior Justine Kruger (Francesville, Ind.), led the way with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Junior Jennifer Lee added 11 points while freshman Beth Schaefer had a MU career high effort of 10 points and 9 rebounds. The Spartans rank 7th after a 6th place tie between Hanover and Defiance. They will face off against the Yellow Jackets on Feb. 17.

            Sophomore Torrie Christlieb (Culver, Ind.) is the team’s leading rebounder, snatching 6.0 rebounds per game, and she voiced her opinion about the team’s season. “We all need to reflect and revisit the goals we set as a team at the beginning of the season,” she said. “Our coach is really good at setting goals for the team and telling us what we need to do for us to win. We just have to do it.”

What was the difference for her between this season and last season? “We lost five seniors from last season who made a difference for us,” Christlieb said. “Their experience and efforts produced a lot for us.”

Injuries have also taken a toll on the team just like most teams at this part of the season. “We are not all 100 percent,” Christlieb noted. “We’re also hurting from the loss of our starting point guard and captain Kelcey Daughtery.” Daughtery (Greenwood, Ind.), a senior, is out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury.

On Saturday, Feb. 13, Senior Night, the Spartans will host the Rose-Hulman Engineers at 3:00. The seniors will play their last home game at Stauffer Wolfe Arena.