STORY BY LARISSA SAMANO, SPORTS EDITOR
PHOTOS BY DESHIELDS FAJARDO
As the Cypress Women’s Basketball team enters another season this winter 2023, they have a lot to prove and even more new talent.
Coming off of a 23-8 winning season and making it all the way to the state quarter finals, the team is looking to accomplish more. The team consists of seven returners, nine freshmen, and two transfer student-athletes rounding out this year’s roster.
The season officially kicked off on November 9th, and the Chargers have picked up two tough losses against Fresno City College and Santa Rosa Junior College in their first tournament of the season. Conference matches are two months away, the team is taking advantage of this preseason to fine tune, strengthen their weaknesses, and find the starting lineup that they believe will take them far.
When asked what they need to take away from last season to implement this year, returning center Mallory Sidoti said, “ I think the most important thing we need to take away from last season is the communication on the court. It hasn’t gone well in the past games, but we are working on it.”
Every team wishes to be great regardless of the sport, but it never comes easy. Sidoti said, “We are coming in an hour before practice everyday to do extra shooting, and many of us are coming in on the weekends to get extra work in. Everyone seems locked in and wants the same goals.”
A majority of the team are freshmen who bring fresh talent to the court that the Orange Empire Conference has yet to see, so all eyes will be on them to see how quickly they will adapt to the college atmosphere.
The few returners on the team have taken the freshmen under their wing to show them the ropes of college ball and help them better understand where the rivalries take place. Sidoti said, “Our biggest opponents won’t change from last year, being [Orange Coast College (OCC)] and [Irvine Valley College (IVC)]. We lost to OCC last season, and we are coming back this year wanting revenge.”
Now that fall sports are heading into playoffs and coming to an end, no other team was successful enough to bring home the 90th conference championship for Cypress College’s athletics program, but basketball is set on being that team this year.
There is a long road ahead for the 2023-24 Women’s Basketball team with so much to prove. Not only are they looking to accomplish what they fell short of last season, but they are also doing it with a whole new roster.