Women’s basketball ready to roll

The Lady Corsairs anticipate a big year

Last year, the Santa Monica College women's basketball team finished 17-10 overall and 8-4 in conference play, making it to the Western State Conference South Division Championship game.

Even after losing three conference players from last year, including leading scorer Hayley Henderson, Head Coach Lydia Strong believes her team can pick up where they left off.

She mentioned that this year’s team is taller and has better ball-handlers. Expectations are even higher this season with fresh legs and a few returning starters. “I'm pretty happy with their efforts so far and there are no complaints,”  Strong said.

Strong's strategy is different every season but she will continue to implement her up-tempo offense and full-court press defense.

''We're always going to press,'' coach Strong said. ''Every team is different. I always look at the talent and personnel first then that's when I decide if we as a team can do one thing from another.''

The players to watch this season include freshman Catherine Johnson from Long Beach Poly High, freshman Kimberly Alvarez from Garfield High, and sophomore Atiyah Vidiono from Sweden.

Alvarez is looking forward to start the season with her new group of teammates.'' Our team right now is looking pretty good and were really excited with hopes on winning a Championship,'' said Alvarez.

Vidiono reiterates the fact that the team is bigger this season and she feels the College of the Canyons is on her list of teams to beat this season.

“I just want to beat them because they beat us last year,” Vidiono said. "Her way of playing basketball is different than when she played in Sweden and she mentions the program has been a big influence, “Coach Strong is a great coach and she has taught me a lot about basketball.''

Johnson, known as “Cat” to her teammates, has high hopes for herself as well as the team. She understands what she has to do on and off the court to win a championship and receive a scholarship to Cal Poly Pomona. '' I'm counting down the days to our first game,'' Vidiono said.

The Lady Corsairs return to the court Friday, Nov. 11 at the San Diego Mesa Tournament, hoping it will be a start to a promising season.

''I just want to beat everybody,'' Coach Strong said.