On Friday, Nov. 4, the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team got their first taste of game action when they took on Delaware Valley University in their first and only contest of the preseason.
The game was divided into four quarters, each treated like its own game. The Mules split the scrimmage games with Delaware Valley, starting with expected stiffness and nerves but then settling in nicely to what was a very competitive and high-level affair.
“Overall, the scrimmage went very well,” commented Abigail Scheidel ‘24. “We had high energy and worked well as a team, demonstrating lots of potential for the upcoming season.”
A goal for the squad, this season, is to play a more run-and-gun style of basketball. The philosophy of the run-and-gun is being the team that takes the most shots in the game and transitions from end to end with pace and precision.
Keeping their foot on the gas is a way the Mules want to suffocate other teams’ offenses. “As a team, we pushed the ball really well in transition,” said Scheidel. “[That] is something we work on every day at practice. Pushing the ball at the defense every possession to make them tire out is really important for us.”
Another element of the Mules’ relentless tactics is in-your-face defense from the inbound. The team has concentrated on strength and conditioning during this preseason, ideally allowing them to maintain ferocious high-court pressure for most of the game.
“Our conditioning is certainly not an issue going into our first game,” added forward Sara Peretti ‘23. “In the second quarter, our Coach [Rohn] wanted to try to implement our full-court press. The team executed our press so well that we scored back-to-back layups from quick steals in the backcourt.”
Although there was an abundance of positive outlooks to take from Friday, it is important to recognize that this was the Mules’ first game action, and there were a few things the team acknowledged that they can continue to work on before their first official match.
“We can [also] work on our ball movement and post-entry passes,” noted Peretti. “We need to limit turnovers this year and make every possession count. We have so many talented shooters on our team!”
“Before our first game, it is really important for us to work on our defense,” said Scheidel. “We played good defense in the scrimmage, but there is still a lot we can work on to limit scoring opportunities for the other team. We can also continue to work on communicating both offensively and defensively to help us work better as a team and as one unit. Talking through each play on both ends will help us improve greatly.”
The season opener is quickly approaching for the Mules, and if their scrimmage taught them one thing, it’s that they’re primed to challenge the rest of the Centennial Conference for the ultimate prize.
“One impressive thing we showed on Friday is that we are incredibly athletic,” commented Peretti. “Our rebounding looked great, the conditioning was fantastic, and we also made a lot of tough shots. The scrimmage was a huge step from the first day of practice, and I am noticing that the more we continue to work, the more we continue to grow.”
“We need to keep pushing each other every day in practice,” added Scheidel. “Playing good defense, communicating, running our plays, and pushing the ball are some of the important things that we need to keep working on so we can continue to raise our ceiling. We need to do each of these things to reach our goal of being a championship team.”
The small details have been sorted, any remaining rust has been shaken off, and game-day traditions have been officially implemented–finishing almost all of the team’s preparation for this year’s campaign. The Mules are now less than a week away from traveling to Oneonta, NY, to take on Hartwick College in their opener on Nov. 12.