The ACU women’s basketball team will begin its season Saturday against Wayland Baptist University after an 18-12 overall record last season with an 8-6 Southland conference record.
The game will begin at 5 p.m. in Moody Coliseum.
Sophomore forward Suzzy Dimba is ready to finally get the season started.
“I’m very excited to get to play with my team and get to play under coach Goodenough another year,” Dimba said. “I feel like we’ve grown from last season, so I’m excited to put it all together in our first game on Saturday.”
Head Coach Julie Goodenough and Dimba stressed how the team turned heads last season accomplishing success with a number of new faces but will need to continue to improve as individuals and as a team if they want to surpass their previous performance.
“I really feel like we exceeded expectations last year and probably surprised some of our conference opponents,” Goodenough said. “But this season, we’re known by everyone, and they know our personnel, so if we think we’re gonna be successful and competitive every night playing at the same level we played at last year, we’re going to be very disappointed. We have to elevate our level of play and not make the same mistakes we did last year. We’ve got to really grow as a team if we want to have a successful season.”
In just their first season as an official Div. I program, the team won eight conference games, including a 78-62 win on the road against the 11-7 Nicholls State University Colonels, but the team has bigger aspirations this season than two conference wins over .500.
“Winning conference is a really huge goal,” Dimba said. “A lot of people don’t expect that from us, and the conference doesn’t really see it coming. We established ourselves last season so this year, we’re more of a force to be reckoned with. I feel like we have put ACU on the map so far, but it can only go up from here.”
Regardless of returning conference powerhouses like Stephen F. Austin and Lamar, the coaching staff isn’t afraid to set the season goals high.
“In practice, the intensity they bring and how on a daily basis they tell us that we’re going to be the team, we’re going win conference, that’s our goal this year and they’re reiterating it to us a lot so we just got to get it through our minds and play really hard to get to that point,” Dimba said.
With greater success comes an influx game attendance and team support which Goodenough said is why she and her fellow coaches want their players on the team to know who and what they’re really playing for.
“Our goal as a staff is to put a team on the court that the ACU community will be extremely proud of,” Goodenough said. “That looks different to different people, but for us it just means that we get out on the court, we play together as a team, we play with extreme toughness, competitiveness and we use our gifts and talents to the fullest to glorify God. We challenge our players every day to seek excellence in everything that we do and we feel like if that’s what we’re striving for, we will put a product on the court that people enjoy watching and will feel we’re a team worth investing time in and supporting.”
Dimba said the team will be ready to hit the ground running in their first game of the season and that she knows they have what it takes to hold their own in this conference and this division.
“Come out and watch us,” Dimba said. “We’ll shock a lot of people, especially the freshmen who haven’t come to our games before, just come out.”