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Coach Williams excited to build on success from last year

After weeks of practice, the Coyote women’s basketball team will finally get to take the court this weekend against Cal State Fullerton Friday in Fullerton, Cal. This will be the first game of the season for the Coyotes, who finished last season one win away from the NCAA tournament.

The team has been working hard during the offseason to prepare for the game, said head coach Amy Williams. She said she has confidence in the team’s ability, because of all of the work they have been putting in.

“We’re excited to get back out there and continue what we did last year,” Williams said.

The Coyotes will open up the season with seven combined first-years and sophomores. Senior Polly Harrington said this year’s team does not have as much experience as last year, but the team will still be able to compete in games.

“I know everyone can do it,” Harrington said. “We’ve been doing it in practice, and I expect that to keep happening.”

Last year, the Coyotes went 19-16 (10-6) and ended the season winning seven of their final nine games.  The team finished the Summit League tournament just one win away from an NCAA tournament berth.

The loss came at the hands of in-state rival South Dakota State, but the team was able to make it to the WBI tournament where its season came to an end with a 71-63 loss to McNeese State.

The team is preparing for its first game of the season against Cal State Fullerton. Cal State went 11-22 last season with a team primarily made up of first-years and sophomores. The team is currently 2-0 in exhibition games against California Baptist and Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Titans hired a new head coach in the offseason, so the Coyotes know very little about them.

“It’s a little bit scary when you play a team with 12 returning players and a brand new head coach,” Williams said. “We don’t know what they’ll do, so we just have to focus on us and what we can do as a team.”