By Gillian Baker / Full 360 Digital producer
The Delaware Valley University Women’s basketball team had arguably one of their best seasons the program has seen in years.
Running a ten-person squad with six members of the team being freshman, the Aggies produced a near-winning record and found themselves in a playoff game. Though they had adversaries to overcome throughout the season, the girls came together in the end to leave it all on the court.
The DelVal girls are coached by alumni Laura Hogan, who has been coaching for many years now. The squad Hogan had this year were the ones to give Hogan her 300th win, and a multitude of other accolades for the team and individual players. As it has been seen in the past, DelVal women’s basketball has not always had the odds in their favor. Between losing players, conference challenges, and low numbers, they haven’t seen the success they had this year in a while. Hogan and her young squad showed everyone that with enough hard work, they could produce the results they deserved. Having six freshmen on a small squad meant taking a lot of chances on said girls, which ended up working to the Aggie’s benefit.
A young group can be tough for some teams to tackle, but coach Hogan saw it as an opportunity. During their pre-season, Laura Hogan and the older members of the team worked to get their freshmen acclimated to their play so they could jump right into games no issue. The first years on the team proved to bring up team strength with three of them finding themselves in the top five for stat leaders. Most of the freshman class found themselves starting and being key players game to game. Certain girls even helped to lead the team, like Alexis Wright.
Standing at 5 ’11, the freshman forward from Guilderland, New York proved she was a force to be reckoned with early on. She received multiple recognitions on the season despite being a freshman, like MAC player of the week and being named to the all-tournament team at Elizabethtown. Alexis Wright was the third highest point scorer, constantly putting up tons of stats for the team. Working through the post, she found herself at the foul line frequently, giving her a .795 free throw percentage, the highest on her team. Outside of just scoring, Wright was one of the key play-makers on the court, often finding teammates Maisie Neuber and Haley Keenan. Keenan and Neuber both found themselves alongside Wright in the top three stat leaders.
Junior Haley Keenan had more of an impact than just leading stats for her team. Keenan was a captain alongside Jenna Schiessl for the 22-23 season, and will likely lead the team again next year. Keenan was often recognized for honors like player of the week, but her sportsmanship and dedication stands out more than anything else. Always offering a helping hand to a player down, on her team or not, Keenan displayed her captainship well. The Junior was always found motivating her teammates and looking for the way to win through the game play and mentality. Fortunately for Haley and the rest of the team, their young roster will allow them to carry this momentum over into their next season.
Both players Haley Keenan and Alexis Wright were recognized by the Middle Atlantic Conference post season. Their hard work did not go unnoticed, and they both received awards, Keenan being honored to first-team all MAC and Wright receiving second-team all MAC.
Though Keenan and Wright were the only two DelVal players to be recognized by the MAC, every single player on the team contributed in a vast amount of ways. With only ten players on the roster, the Aggies definitely worked harder to produce the results they had this year. Their significantly lower number of players dug them into trouble at times, but often the girls were able to work together to bring themselves and their teammates back up. This motivation and bond from the entire team is what gave the girls the successful season they experienced.
The Aggies success has put them in a good spot going into their season next year. With every player on the roster returning, the only way from here is up. Women’s basketball looks to continue their success and strength in the offseason in preparation for their 23-24 winter season.
Follow up with the Aggies women’s basketball team on @dvuwbb on instagram, or through the DelVal athletics website.