Basketball season is back. The Trinity University women’s basketball team has officially started practice for the upcoming season. The Tigers regrouped on Sunday, Oct. 15, with practice both in the morning and in the afternoon.

The Tigers did a stellar job last season and are hoping to continue to improve this year. They took home their third Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship under the leadership of coach Cameron Hill, and they advanced deep into the national tournament before falling to Whitman College in the NCAA Division III round of 16. With a 28-2 record, the Tigers were ranked No. 8 nationally and tied Trinity’s single-season record for victories. The Tigers will have a chance at redemption this season, as they face Whitman on Dec. 21 for a pre-conference matchup.

The team has been counting down the days until the season.

“I’m just looking forward to getting in a rhythm again. … The team is just a fun group to be around. We always make a lot of great memories and I’m ready to make even more,” said senior forward Kate Irvin.

The Tigers will open up their season with a matchup against Willamette University in Salem, Oregon on Nov. 17. Their first home game will occur a few days later on Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. with a matchup against Hardin-Simmons University, followed by another non-conference game against University of Texas at Tyler on the Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.

“I am excited to match up with some of the ranked teams we played last year,” said junior point guard, Rachel Chavez. This year, the Tigers have a hearty first-year class.

The Tigers lost five crucial seniors going into this season, but all of the upperclassmen are excited to see how the younger players step up.

“I think our newcomers have done an excellent job of adapting quickly and efficiently. They’ve done an excellent job in playing their part in the offseason,” said senior guard, Becca Gordon.

The team believes the first-years will add to the competitive atmosphere at practice, as well as provide more enthusiasm both on and off of the court.

“They all have a lot of energy and are excited to be out there. Just having that high level of energy does wonders for a basketball team. Our season can sometimes last six months, so we will need that energy,” Irvin said.

To build off of their success from last season, each member of the team worked tirelessly in the offseason to improve their game. Leading up to their first practice, the Tigers were holding team conditioning workouts, playing pickup in the gym and doing various team bonding activities off of the court.

“The team has really been working on cohesion. It’s been a bit of a culture shock with seven new players and there have been some learning curves on both sides, but we have really continued to embrace our ‘Together Tigers’ motto which I think will contribute to our overall success,” Gordon said.

On a more personal level, Gordon hopes to be a more effective leader and communicator both on and off of the court this season.

Irvin believes that one component of their team separates them from their opponents: their ability to be competitive with one another, all while having fun together.

“We find that balance. We enjoy our sport, we enjoy each other, and this leads us to have really good chemistry on and off of the court which is nothing but a positive,” Irvin said.