Women’s hoops look to finish strong

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Junior guard Lauren Bailie drives toward the basket. So far this season, the Saints (2-15) have struggled to find leadership on the court.

Inexperience and tough competition plague Flagler’s sagging season

By Clayton Coffman | ccoffman@flagler.edu

Flagler women’s basketball coach, Sherri Abbey-Nowatzki believes there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, getting to the end has been a hard battle for the Saints.

“It’s tough,” Nowatzki said. “I’m certainly not happy being 2-15. We’re improving with a young team with a tough schedule.”

Her freshmen- and sophomore-laden squad has seen plenty of action this year. For Nowatzki, each game has been a journey to find the right blend of what works best.

The former Army head coach who helped turn around their women’s basketball program believes the same is being done at Flagler.

“It takes time. Game experience is nothing you can replace,” Nowatzki said.

Of the Saints 15 players, 10 of them are either freshmen or sophomores.

“It’s [the struggles] indicative of a young team weeding out still,” Nowatzki said.

Senior point guard Christy Forsyth sees the same thing as her coach does. Forsyth’s final 10 games as a collegiate player have the Tallahassee native hoping the team pulls together.

“We need to come together as a team,” she said. “We’re playing much harder competition compared to last season.”

Some of the struggles, as Forsyth sees it, come down to the lack of leadership shown from the upper classmen.

“We have to have people who want to step up,” she said. “And that’s what were lacking right now on the court.”

That’s even more difficult each week as the women’s team changes lineups on a constant basis.

Of the 17 games the Saints have played this year, only five of those contests were with the exact same starters.

“We haven’t found a good rotation,” Forsyth said. “It’s awful. It’s hard to be consistent when you don’t have the same starting lineup.”

The personnel, which is important to any team trying to be successful, has forced Nowatzki to just be patient with her team.

“What’s been challenging this year for us is being led by freshmen and sophomores. They’re learning and moving forward,” she said.

With 10 games remaining in Flagler’s season, former guard, Alicia Ramsdell has faith that the womens team, like last year, will finish strong and become more prepared for next season.

“They’re not quite there yet,” Ramsdell said. “I think they’ll finish strong. You have to look beyond the wins.”

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