By Cristina Coca |

With the season rapidly approaching, head coach Erika Lang Montgomery has her team in high gear. The Women’s basketball team has been preparing for the last few months for a season that could very well be one of their best in the Peach Belt Conference.

Coach Lang Montgomery feels that this could be the year the team makes a strong argument in conference play and makes it to the post season Conference tournament. The team has a very strong core group of girls with eight returners and five newcomers including three seniors Jen Knurek, Arianna Roper, and Rachel Brown. The team has not had a winning season as a member of the Peach Belt since they joined four years ago from the NAIA Florida Sun Conference. But that isn’t stopping the team this year, they are using that as motivation.

“We expect to challenge and compete every possession, every game and make it to the Peach Belt conference tournament,” Montgomery said.

To help out this year the team welcomes the programs first full-time assistant coach, Sharnesha Smith. She comes to the team from Augusta State where she was a graduate assistant coach. Smith had an outstanding career with Stetson University in Deland, Florida.

Montgomery is excited to have her here to help expand the knowledge of the game with the team, and she brings a mix a youth and experience to the staff as well.
“Having played the guard position she is able to share that knowledge with our perimeter players,” Montgomery said, “you don’t want to challenge her in a game of H-O-R-S-E!”

The coaching staff said there is a different feel to the team this year, and they seem hungrier for victory and success and it is apparent in the way they are practicing this season. Coach Montgomery has spoken to her teams of prior years on team chemistry playing an important role in the success of the team.

“Our team chemistry has been really good as well. Normally that is something that takes time to grow,” Montgomery said. “They have a genuine appreciation for each other already as if they have known each other for a lifetime. We are a family.”

The team opens up their season at the Armstrong Classic November 16th where they will face Anderson University and Lynn University. The team has their first home game Dec. 1 at 1:30 p.m. against Ave Maria.

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