Women’s Basketball | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian
The Wright State University women’s basketball team is preparing for what should be a more promising 2023 season.
Last season, the Lady Raiders went 8-24, including a 13-game losing streak early on. WSU had 13 transfers join the team, which led to a lack of chemistry among the Raiders.
As the season went on, WSU found its identity behind the three-point line and started making some noise down the stretch.
Wright State won in the first round of the Horizon League tournament against No. 9 Oakland before falling to the No. 1 seeded Green Bay. The Raiders finished in ninth place in the HL with a 6-14 conference record.
WSU lost a star-studded senior trio in Emily Chapman, Isabelle Bolender and Bryce Nixon.
This season, the Raiders added six new players—five of which are transfers and one is a freshman—to a roster that has multiple returning contributers.
“Some of those key replacements for having maturity in college, playing a ton of games, having a winning mentality, we got some of that in our transfers,” Head Coach Kari Hoffman mentioned.
In the transfer portal, WSU added Alexis Hutchison (Malone University), Layne Ferrell (The University of Akron), Julia Hoefling (Loyola University Chicago), Claire Henson (Long Island University) and Jada Tate (Tiffin University).
Last season, the Raiders lived and died by the three-pointer, going second in the nation in three-point makes per game with just over 10 per contest. This year, they will look to become more diverse in their scoring.
“I think this year we will be a lot more dynamic. We are bigger in every position, and we have a little bit of an inside game,” forward Cara VanKempen stated. “We’re gonna be a triple threat from the inside and outside and our bigs, so I am really excited to see us put it all together.”
This year’s team is showing an immense amount of confidence compared to last year when the team was still trying to find their footing.
“I think that the feel of this year’s team is completely different than the years I’ve been here,” point guard Kacee Baumhower stated. “There is just a drive and competitiveness that we haven’t had before.”
The Raiders were selected to finish in seventh place in this year’s HL preseason poll; however, the team is not letting it discourage them, and the Raiders are eager to shock the conference.
“I think a lot of people are underestimating us because they saw what we did last year, and even though we didn’t win a lot of games, we made a big jump at the end of the year,” VanKempen stated.
The Raiders will play against multiple teams that they saw last year in the non-conference schedule and are looking to draw even with them. Some of these teams include Southern Indiana, Marshall, Bowling Green and Eastern Illinois.
“I’m just really excited to play some of the teams that beat us last year,” coach Hoffman mentioned. “All those non-conference games we lost last year, I’m really looking forward to getting revenge on them.”
Additionally, multiple teams that WSU will face off against are those with new coaching staffs.
On Monday, Nov. 6, the Lady Raiders fell 63-67 to Southern Indiana in a hard-fought, close game.