New season brings new faces and new challenges

Nolan Potts, ‘Doah Staff Writer
January 15, 2014

'Doah photo courtesy of SU Athletics

‘Doah photo courtesy of SU Athletics

In sports, whenever you have a young, inexperienced team it’s typically going to take some time to get everyone on the same page. The system and culture need to be taught to the players, and the team needs to become accustomed to playing with each other- which will help improve the overall team chemistry.

While these intangibles evolve,  there might be some frustrating moments before everything begins to come together and click.

For the Shenandoah University women’s basketball team, they are learning this firsthand, and so far their season has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride. The women have compiled a 5-8 record (2-2 in the ODAC) so far this season with a young roster.

At the beginning of the year, the team only had nine players- five who were new to the team.

Luckily, the women’s team has gained three players for this semester, including two ladies who were a member of the team last year.

The S.U. women have a big three players of their own in terms of scoring in Crystal Petrus,  Holly Chittenden and sophomore Imani Heggins. Heggins leads the team in scoring (14.2 per game), followed by Petrus (12.3) and Chittenden (12.1).

They are the only three who average double digit scoring.

The team averages 55.8 points per game as a whole, and those three women combine for an average of 38.6 points per game- or over 69% of the team’s total scoring. Chittenden is also doing a great job rebounding the basketball as she ranks fifth in the ODAC with 8.6 rebounds per game.

There have been some great individual performances by some of the women in their wins this year.

On Nov. 23, Crystal Petrus scored 25 points in a 83-79 win over St. Mary’s.

Holly Chittenden played all 40 minutes in a 55-53 win over Wilkes on Dec. 1 and flirted with a triple-double as she had 20 points, ten rebounds and six assists. She recorded another double-double versus Emory & Henry on Dec. 7 as she had 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Imani Heggins also contributed 20 points that afternoon, giving the Hornets two 20-point scorers as they won 72-65. Heggins also eclipsed 20 points in a 58-44 victory on Jan. 11 over Hollins.

Those three ladies might get most of the headlines, but all of the other players on the team have also played important roles so far this season.

Despite their overall record not being where they want it to be right now, they’re still in the mix to earn one of the top seeds for the ODAC tournament in February.

As the team continues to learn and become comfortable with playing with one another, the results on the court will continue to improve.

With the fiery Coach Calhoun at the helm and co-captains Petrus and Chittenden leading the team, the ladies should have no problem finding success throughout the months January and February as they push towards the postseason.

The women are at home against Bridgewater at 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 15 and at home versus Lynchburg at 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 25. Come out and support the team as they get closer to the conference tournament.

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