The ‘Cats experienced a weekend of defeat, losing games to Grand Valley and Ferris State, but stubbornly held onto the final GLIAC playoff spot.
Last Thursday’s match up against Grand Valley State was a close call. The ladies played great defensively and offensively throughout the entire match, Mattson said.
Senior Kelsey Deacon scored a total of 16 points, leading the team in scoring.
“We played tough. It came down to a close game, and we just didn’t make shots at the end. We just need to prepare ourselves better when it comes down to the end,” Deacon said.
The last three minutes saw the ‘Cats leading the game by one. In the last 30 seconds, GVSU scored, sealing the victory at 62-59. Grand Valley is known for winning home games. Going into Thursday’s contest, the Lakers had a home-game winning streak of seven games. To top that GVSU is ranked eighth in the Midwest Region.
“When you go on the road and you play two premier teams in the league, and you have the ball in both games with a chance to win, you have to feel good about the way you played,” head coach Troy Mattson said. “We went down there; we played really tough defensively, and gave ourselves an opportunity to win. To be in those games, and compete at the level we did, I’m very happy”.
Next weekend the lady Wildcats will face off against nationally ranked Hillsdale (19-2) and Findlay (12-11).
The pressure is on more than ever for the Wildcats, as the playoff season is soon approaching. Junior guard Christa Erickson is optimistic about this weekend’s match-ups, but realizes what’s at stake for the team.
“Everybody’s competing for a spot in the conference tournament. I think if we play tough together, we’ll put ourselves in a great position to win.”
Troy Mattson is satisfied with the way his team played over the past weekend, but is using a different approach to further prepare his team.
“We’ve had some of our hardest practices that we’ve had in a while, because we need to do a couple of different things, and the only way we can learn how to do them is to go hard. It’ll help to prepare ourselves for Hillsdale, so that we can give ourselves the best chance to win against one of the best teams in the league,” Mattson said.
Thursday’s game against Hillsdale begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday’s contest begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Chargers are on a nine game winning streak, and are currently ranked fifth in the nation, according to a coaches’ poll.