Women’s Basketball Team Achieves Four-Game Winning Streak

By, Jilleen Barrett, Managing/Features Editor

The women’s basketball team is riding the high of a winning streak. The last four games were victorious for the Jaspers, who played Iona College, Monmouth College and two games against St. Peter’s University. They defeated Iona earlier this month as well, despite the expectation that the Gaels will win at the MAACs.

Some key players in these matches were Courtney Warley, Jenna Jordan and Dee Dee Davis. Warley, a center, spoke with The Quadrangle about how the team is operating this season.

“A big word for us that we’ve been using this year is ‘resilience’,” Warley said. “We’ve had a lot of setbacks — with injuries, with people having to be out because of COVID protocols, with some games having to be canceled … We just know that what happens, whether it’s in the game or off, we know that we just have to come back stronger.”

Warley, a graduate student in the MBA program, shared how it felt after the team’s third straight win before they won a second time against St. Peter’s.

“Half of our team is new this year, so I think it took us a little while to fully mesh together, but I think we are there now and we’re definitely playing at full strength,” she said. “I think this three-game winning streak is a testament to us figuring it out.”

Jordan, a junior forward, is anticipating more wins in the future. The team is competing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament in March. 

“Right now, we’re really really hungry to keep winning, so I honestly think we’re just gonna get the ‘dub’ and just keep looking forward,” Jordan said. “We take it one game at a time and we just play as hard as we can.”

Davis expressed the same desire to win in an interview with The Quadrangle, crediting coach Heather Vulin for the team’s success.

“My coach [Vulin] is very deliberate in terms of what she expects of us,” Davis said. “She’s very diligent in the things that she wants us to do. And when we listen to her, we usually get some pretty good results. So this train is moving forward that we’re on, we’re not stopping. We’re not looking around. We’re full steam ahead and we’ve been winning the last three games … So we plan on the team to do just that.”

All three players said the best way to prepare for a game is to relax. Now a junior, Davis has seen her pre-game rituals progress since she started with the Jaspers as a freshman.

“[M]y freshman year I would you know say, ‘I gotta listen to this song. I got to snap my fingers three times. I got to do things on a set schedule or routine’,” she said. “Now, I’ve grown older and matured a little bit I guess. I just like to be relaxed and I don’t like to put too much pressure on myself. It’s never a good idea to put too much pressure on yourself. So I really just go with the flow. I pray and I trust that the work that I put in will come up and will show up.”

Davis and Jordan communicated a strong desire to win, but feel the most important part of being a team is to have a good attitude and work as a team.

“Nothing’s done,” Davis said. “The job’s not finished. The season is not over. We just want to continue to win. We just want to continue to get better every single day. And we also want to continue to be grateful. I mean, we’re at a crazy time in this world. We’re at a very unprecedented time in this world. And we’re just really glad that we get the opportunity to play basketball with our friends and loved ones and best friends. So we’re also grateful at the same time.”

Jordan felt similarly, specifying that a positive attitude is crucial in a situation like theirs.

“I’m just keeping a positive attitude like I think it’s hard as a college athlete to remain positive at all times,” Jordan said. “And that’s something I’ve been working really hard with my teammates and my coaches and they’re allowing me to grow as a player helping me through my lowest of lows and high surprise so I think just staying positive is the one thing.”

Editor’s Note: Madalyn Johnson contributed to reporting on this piece.