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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women hope chemistry helps on court

    Centers Suzy, left, and Beatrice Bofia, right, celebrate with guard Joy Hollingsworth during the Grand Canyon on Nov. 6. TThe womens team, very close off the court, hopes that chemistry shows in the win column on the court.
    Centers Suzy, left, and Beatrice Bofia, right, celebrate with guard Joy Hollingsworth during the Grand Canyon on Nov. 6. TThe women’s team, very close off the court, hopes that chemistry shows in the win column on the court.

    Team chemistry and winning can go hand in hand in sports. When you win, teams can have healthier relationships. When you lose, good chemistry can go awry.

    If the Arizona women’s basketball team achieves its preseason goal of making a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2004-05 season, it might have its team chemistry to thank.

    “”I think the team chemistry is definitely good this year,”” senior guard Joy Hollingsworth said. “”We all love each other. We loved each other last year, but it’s just like a different kind of connection we have this year. Our chemistry is awesome.””

    Last year the team came closer together after the sudden loss of star center Shawntinice Polk bonded the players together as sisters.

    A season later, and with another year of maturity added, the players feel stronger than ever, and they hope the close relationships they formed with one another will help them gel on the court.

    “”We’re definitely emotionally stronger,”” Hollingsworth said. “”We have a ton on our minds. That just comes in bringing in new players, our coach’s expectations, their confidence within us and our confidence with each other.””

    Hollingsworth said the players remaining from last year’s squad have matured because of the tragedy, and it forced them to grow up in a short time.

    Now that’s all behind them. Leaders have emerged as the team prepares for its season.

    “”Our team is as close as it ever has been,”” UA head coach Joan Bonvicini said. “”We were close last year, I think because a tough circumstance just makes people closer …Talent is important, but when you have a team that is close on and off the court, it not only helps, but it makes it fun.””

    The players have found several things to do off the court that have helped establish good relationships with each other to try to build a sense of chemistry.

    “”We always get together as a team, go to the movies, go bowling,”” said forward Whitney Fields. “”We always like to have fun. We’re closer this year, and I feel that everyone wants to hang with the team.””

    Fields said she thinks it will help the team on the court because spending time together helps the team get to know each other’s likes and dislikes.

    “”We help each other out,”” Fields said. “”We sit around and ask questions like, ‘What kind of passes do you like?’ Stuff like that can help us on the court.””

    Even the newcomers feel like they have close relationships with the older players after being on the team for such a short period of time.

    “”I feel like I’ve been welcomed with open arms,”” said freshman guard Marie McGee. “”It’s been a great experience. I don’t feel like anybody on the team doesn’t receive me. I feel very fortunate for that, because they’re my home away from home.””

    Players throughout the roster, as well as the coaches, believe that chemistry will be an integral part to the team’s success this year. With a brutal schedule, including 15 games against ranked teams and a cross-country trip to play at No. 1 Maryland as part of the BTI Classic this weekend, the Wildcats know that any personality clashes could cost them the season.

    “”You need chemistry, maybe not in order to win, but just to be overall successful,”” guard Jessica Arnold said. “”We never argue with each other, we try to stay as positive as we can with each other, and that definitely shows.

    “”We play better when we’re like that. The two go hand-in-hand.””

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