Basketball team

Fairfield Women’s Basketball Team Keeps Up A Disrupted Season: “Makes Us Stronger”

This 2020-21 women’s college basketball season has been a tough one for everyone. Now factor to be away from the family. It is an experience that Lou Lopez-Sénéchal does not want to repeat.

“It wasn’t easy all the time, especially when you have COVID,” senior forward Fairfield of Grenoble, France said.

“You are in a hotel room. You want to be with your loved ones, your loved ones.

Fairfield went three weeks without playing between January 16 and February 8. The team has only played 16 games.

“In the middle of the season we had to go through a lot of quarantine, a lot of weeks at the hotel, losing games,” said senior striker Andrea Hernangomez, from Madrid. “In the end, half of our team contracted COVID. “

If the team takes anything in the new season, hopefully more normal and healthier for everyone, it’s the bond that adversity has formed.

“With the squad that we have, we always have a great chemistry and stick together,” said Lopez-Senechal, who was voted MAAC’s pre-season player of the year. “It makes us stronger. It helped me a lot. “

While a handful of players have graduated or gone on to other programs over the free transfer summer, Fairfield has added a few key newcomers to the tight group he has built.

Of the seven best in minutes played by last year’s 11-5 team that reached the MAAC semi-finals, six return, including top scorer Lopez-Senechal (16.9).

On top of that experience, what may stand out the most for Fairfield coach Joe Frager, who is entering his 15th (and final, he announced Oct. 19, citing his health) season at school, c t is the constant effort that the players put in every day. .

“We’re like sisters,” said Hernangomez, MAAC’s sixth player of the year last season and all-conference third preseason pick. “We fight together. We don’t give up.

“We don’t rest, mentally. We take every training as if it was a championship. If we don’t take it seriously, who is going to take us seriously? Black team, red team, we fight as if we were not teammates. It makes us stronger every day.

Frager agrees with that.

“It’s something that we really encouraged. There’s no polite way to put it, but it’s kind of having a killer instinct, a competitive killer instinct, ”Frager said.

“You hope you can instill the desire to win every drill, every scrum.”

The theory, of course, is that winning these drills means winning games means winning championships. That’s what Fairfield, chosen third in the preseason coaching poll, is looking for in a competitive conference.

The defending champion Marist has obtained numerous degrees but remains talented, chosen fourth in the conference. Quinnipiac and Manhattan were voted # 1 and # 2 in the poll.

“The X factors are so many transfers in so many schools,” Frager said. “Add to the mix three new coaches, three different systems, three different styles. It’s wide open. But I love our chemistry. I like the effort.

A few Fairfield freshmen were struggling with minor injuries in the preseason. Hernangomez expected them to fit in once they got back at full speed.

“I think everyone in the team has improved. Last year has been difficult. No one could be 100%. This year I felt that everyone was 100%, ”said Hernangomez. “Even freshmen – when I was a freshman, I was a little shy. I feel they want it. They are excited for the year. You can see the joy in their eyes.

The team also picked up two local transfers. Junior Guard Jocelyn Polansky is from the state of Utah; she comes from Wallingford and played Choate.

And Shelton’s Sydney Lowery, who played at St. Luke’s, is transferred from Boston College. The custody of graduate students drew praise from Frager.

“She’s like the Energizer (Bunny),” the coach said. “She has courage. She has a great engine. She is super coachable, strong, athletic. It really adds a nice dimension, and it’s contagious.

As long as that’s all, it’s contagious.

[email protected]; @fornabaioctp

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