Buckets of motivation

Aiden Lewald, Sports Reporter

Last year was a historic season for Hamline Women’s Basketball, having the most winning games in program history. After a devastating loss in the first round playoffs against Augsburg, this year’s Pipers have come back stronger than ever. 

Motivated by their previous years success and their determination to get past the previous quarter final loss, they have entered this season ready to fight hard and topple over their competition. 

“Season highlight was beating Augsburg,” graduated senior Chan’el Anderson-Manning said. “It was a perfect day to play our rival, we had a crowd full of people, chips on our shoulders and great energy to all play a great game.” 

These Pipers came back with vengeance on senior night, hyped up by the crowd and on the adrenaline rush of sweet revenge. Their well-deserved win against Augsburg had officially knocked the Auggies out of the playoffs. 

“We lost to Augsburg last year, so it felt good to get the big win on Senior Day,” senior Alyssa Williamson said. 

In this season’s quarterfinals, third seed Hamline beat sixth seed St. Olaf at Hamline’s second consecutive home semi-final game. 

“That [quarterfinal] was a well played and hard fought game and I can say we put it out there,” senior Anderson-Manning said. “Knowing this could potentially be the last game we play together.” 

This year, the team used their love for the game and their passion for competition to keep them motivated throughout the season. Despite the adversity they have faced, they remained focused and continued to battle their way to the finals. 

“We are a very balanced and deep team,” Head Women’s Basketball Coach Alex Focke said. “That depth has been big for us throughout the season.” 

This depth of years represented was fueled by the solidity of the team’s bond. Basketball season can be long and grueling for its players, but these Pipers remind each other why they are here and putting their all into each game. 

The basketball team has had buckets of support from the community this season. From their own coaches, to coaches from other teams and the Hamline student community and their families. 

At the previously mentioned St. Olaf playoff game, there was an instance of how the Hamline community and families unite to uplift the spirit of the women’s basketball team. 

“My younger brother comes to most home games and likes to sit near the student section,” Williamson said. “He was just wearing his normal Hamline sweatshirt, but one of the football players gave him their colorful button up shirt to wear so he could fit in with the theme.” 

School spirit plays a huge part in the ambiance of games. The crowd’s energetic energy has continued to motivate the team and they cannot be more thankful for the support and encouragement they have received from their fellow Pipers. 

These Pipers headed their way to the second round of playoffs against second seed Concordia Cobbers, on Friday Feb. 24. They lost 6774, which knocked them out of the playoffs. 

However, these Pipers are keeping their heads high and basking on the overall success of their season and the fun they had. 

“My success was not the games that we won, it was the meaningful memories I made with so many incredible individuals,” Anderson-Manning said. “My success was the happiness within this program.”