The Augustana Observer sat down with sophomore women’s basketball team member, Alexis Jones, to talk about her recent CCIW player of the week award and the team’s goals for the rest of the season.
How do you think the season is going so far?
I think the season is going better than we expected. With a team as young as ours, we expect to have some ups and downs, and I think we’ve done a pretty great job of rising to any challenges we’re presented and just leaning on each other during our best and worst moments. As always, we definitely have room to improve.
What are the team’s end goals for the season?
Our biggest goal is to make conference tournament again and win it this time around!
Are you guys on the trajectory to meet your goals?
Yes, I think we positioned ourselves very well to make conference but it definitely won’t be an easy road to the tournament. I think it’ll be important for us in the next few weeks to stay enthusiastic and focused to keep bringing the high energy that we started the season off with.
What have you guys been focusing on in practices?
The coaches are constantly repeating two things: “take every game one at a time” and play as a “fist”. A lot of times, people tend to focus on the destination rather than the journey so this season we’ve really focused on enjoying every moment and playing for each other. So in practice we really focus on maintaining positive attitudes and not taking any moment on the court for granted. Basically, as soon as we step foot on a court, we’re high focus and intense.
What’s the biggest obstacles that you guys will have to cross to get to your goals?
I think the biggest challenge we’ve faced is staying mentality tough and positive in times of adversity. Like I said, we’re a young team and highly competitive, so we do not like to lose. When we get down, you can really see that we are upset, so I think we’ll have to focus on not flinching first and just playing harder and coming together when things aren’t going our way.
Any big teams coming up?
A couple, we have Carthage on Saturday and Illinois Wesleyan (the top team in our conference) on Wednesday. (The team lost to Carthage on Saturday, January 27 80-74).
What do you believe that you did to win CCIW player of the week?
I think I won player of the week because of my teammates as corny as that sounds. Every game I play for them, and they in turn give me the energy to go out and do what I do. They push me everyday to play harder and to play to the best of my abilities. I don’t want to let them down, so I leave everything on the floor. I think being player of the week is more of a reflection of how good we are as a team than my own personal talents.
What can you personally do to help the team?
My job is to push everyone to play harder and tougher. I am the annoying teammate that will steal or tip your passes and jump over your back to get that rebound. I think I need to keep bringing the energy and intensity to practices. I think one thing I can do better is talk more on the court. That’s what my coach preaches to me.
The women’s basketball team will play again at 2pm on Saturday, Feb 3. They’ll be facing off against Carroll.
Photo above: Alexis Jones seeks a way around Wheaton player Maggie Dansdill during the January 24th match held at home. Photo by Chelsea Meyer.