MU
Oak Leaves

November 17, 2017


Women's Basketball Works Had on and off Court


Teresa Masteller 


The Manchester University women’s basketball team will start their season as they compete in the Main View Tip-Off this Friday and Saturday on campus.  The Friday game tips at 7 p.m.

There are currently 13 players on the team, with three first-years and no seniors. “The most exciting part about this season is our opportunity for growth,” said teammate Maddy Minehart. “We are a very young team, and each game I know we will try to improve on any concepts we struggled with in the last game. Our team's energy generates a lot of excitement. All of us work extremely hard in practice; I don't think anyone watching us this year will doubt our work ethic.” Minehart, a junior history and religious studies double major, has been part of the team for three years.

Head coach Josh Dzurick started his fourteenth year as a coach at Manchester. “Manchester is a special place; very genuine people make up this community,” he said. “Every year the team is different. This year, the team is full of intelligent, focused, unselfish and hardworking students who see to really care about each other.”

Balancing sports and academics is not always a slam dunk. “Basketball can often take three or four hours out of a day, so time management is extremely important,” Minehart said. “Being a college athlete has made me much more organized and focused, and our team does very well academically. Coach Dzurick stresses that our education is more important than basketball. It is really cool to be a part of a team where everyone is competitive on the court, but also works extremely hard in the classroom.”

Jocelyn Hamilton started her third season of assistant coaching this year. Her passion for basketball has had an influence on her whole life. Her hope is to provide the same type of experience to current student-athletes that she had during her playing career. “Manchester has been my home-away-from-home since the fall of 2011 when I stepped on campus my freshman year,” Hamilton said. “I played all four years in this program, under Head Coach Josh Dzurick, so I am extremely passionate about this place and this program. When the opportunity presented itself to come back and coach after graduation in 2015, I couldn’t pass it up. I bleed black and gold, and I always will!”

This year the team has implemented a new “team first” mentality. “We believe creating this type of unselfish environment will help lead this team to a successful season,” Hamilton said. “We have also been working on a different style of offense that will benefit this group the best. It is something Coach Dzurick has put a lot of hard work into finding.”

The team was supposed to go to Puerto Rico over winter break, but that trip was cancelled due to the destruction from the hurricane. Instead, the team will be going to California. While they are there, the team is set to play against San Diego Christian College and Redlands University. After the games, the team will have some downtime to explore Los Angeles and San Diego.

Team captain Beth Schaefer is looking forward to many things this season. She is a junior athletic training major, and she has been on the team since she was a first-year. “I am really looking forward to our trip to California, when I’ll get to spend time with the girls while exploring a state I’ve never been to before,” Schaefer said. “I also look forward to conference season, we have been working really hard the past month plus and I cannot wait to see it all pay off. I have always loved basketball, and I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to play at the college level.”

Elementary education major Carli Skinner joined the team this year, and the benefits have helped her through her first year of college. “My favorite part of being on the team is having a family at Manchester,” Skinner said. “Sure, I still get homesick, but with my teammates I know I’ve got 12 girls watching out for me.”

Sophomore Haley Farris also enjoys the relationship-building that comes with being on a team. “My teammates are some of the best people I know and I’m thankful for our close bonds and friendships,” Farris said. “We all love to compete, which makes every practice fun. It’s awesome to see the growth and improvement in the end.”

Information about the team and future games can be found at muspartans.com.