Allie Rooney '16 Sports Editor
The much anticipated basketball season is quickly approaching and the pioneers’ expectations have not changed much from last season. Last year, the Pioneers finished the season with an 18-12 record, while finishing as runner-ups both in the NEWMAC tournament and the ECAC tournament. The team finished 15-5 overall in conference play.
The team has 15 players listed on the roster. Two of these players suffered season-ending injuries in the team’s preseason practices. Eight of the remaining players are first years and will look to make important contributions to their team who returns five healthy players from last season. Tia Karapoulios ’16 commented on the new members of the team, saying, “We have a lot of new members to the Smith program but are excited to shake the conference with our style of play. Everyone is really starting to gel and play well together.”
The Pioneers will begin their season on Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. at home against Rivier College. The team will begin conference play on Dec. 3 against Springfield College, which will be a rematch of the NEWMAC title game from last season. The Pioneers will be looking forward to this game, hoping for a better result this time around.
Despite two serious injuries and a young squad, the team will not use any of these factors as excuses throughout the season. Karapoulious ’16 said that they all expect the same out of one another, “If we push each other in practice we will be ready for whatever is thrown at us in games.”
The team won’t let anything hold them back this year and they are very excited to make a statement in an extremely competitive conference. Karapolious added, “We are excited for what this year has in store. It will be a lot of hard work but in the end if we are resilient it will pay off. We have to play our style of basketball and run teams up and down the court.”
The team will be counting on the loyal fans be there cheering them on at their opening game.