The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

Seniors shine one last time, beating Pioneers

Joelle Cheek

Review staff writer

For freshman guard Brianna Reichelt, the ball and the hoop had a magnetic attraction. Her finesse and patience made for a guarantee to put points on the scoreboard.

The 3-pointer gods were in favor of the Linfield women’s basketball team  on Feb. 23 when the ‘Cats played the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers for their last season game. The 3-point hot shots included Reichelt and senior guard Brihtani Lassiter.

The game picked up momentum in the second half with triple 3-pointers by Reichelt. 

“We were a different team,” senior guard Monica Chock said.

Chock, Lassiter and fellow senior guards Casey Stepan, Susan O’Meara and played their last game in Ted Wilson Gymnasium last Feb. 23.

The ‘Cats forged by the Pioneers for the win, 69-62.

The women finished their season on a strong note, but for the seniors, this is a bittersweet ending.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, to be an ex-basketball player,” Stepan said.

The team had a rough year, ending with a final Northwest Conference record of 5-11. It was a learning experience for most of the players, both on and off the court.

Building a work ethic, breaking out of comfort zones and stepping into leadership roles are just a few things the seniors have taken from their four years in the program. Stepan noted failing can sometimes still be a win.

Not only did the seniors learn to be leaders, they made memories as well.

“We were left at the airport in Spokane at midnight one time, and had to call the vans back to come get us,” O’Meara said. “We were the only people in the airport.”

Another memory recalled by both Lassiter and Chock is when first-year coach Meadow Lemon sang “Happy Birthday” to head coach Robyn Stewart over the intercom during an airplane ride.

The seniors not only had to be students of basketball, they had to teach their teammates as well. Junior center Kate Stadeli said she learned a lot from the seniors this year.

“I learned what it means to truly love something so much that you dedicate everything you can to it,” she said.

Freshman forward Sarah Amina said she learned to keep trying, not to get so down on herself and give it all she has.

Now that another season is finished, the girls who remain have the offseason to work out kinks.

“I want to feel more comfortable on the court,” Amina said.

Stewart is looking forward to the coming season as well. 

“We finished strong, but (this season) wasn’t what we expected,” Stewart said. 

Despite not being able to achieve their high expectations, Stewart said she was impressed by the seniors keeping the team positive and continuing to play hard no matter what.

Next season, Stewart hopes to move up the ladder, while Stadeli simply wants to win more games. Amina has hopes for a less nerve-wracking second year.

“As a sophomore (next year), it will be a little more enjoyable,” Amina said. “Instead of being new to everything, I can just go in, relax and play,”

As the seniors move on, basketball fans can look forward to a fierce new team with the combination of recruits from local junior colleges and the remaining underclassmen, Stewart said.

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