By Christina Coca | firstname.lastname@example.org
With the season rapidly approaching, women’s basketball head coach Erika Lang Montgomery has her team in high gear.
The 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 run 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 it as motivation.
“We expect to challenge and compete every possession, every game and make it to the Peach Belt Conference tournament,” said Lang Montgomery.
To help out this year, the team welcomes the program’s 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.
Lang Montgomery is excited to have her here to help expand the knowledge of the game with the team, and she brings a mix of youth and experience to the staff as well.
“Having played the guard position she is able to share that knowledge with our perimeter players,” said Lang Montgomery. “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. That has been apparent in the way they are practicing this season.
Lang 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,” she said.
The team opens the season at the Armstrong Classic Nov. 16 where they will face Anderson University and Lynn University.
The team has its first home game Dec. 1 at 1:30 p.m. against Ave Maria.