By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” –Rocky Balboa
The Grand Canyon University Women’s Club Basketball team took a particularly hard hit on January 15 in a matchup against Ottawa University. Despite their best efforts, the Lopes suffered a crushing defeat to the Spirit, 72-41. While such a defeat was surely hard to handle, the Lopes had no time to feel sorry for themselves as a rematch with Ottawa loomed just around the corner. With only a five-day gap between contests, the Lopes aimed for a better result the second time around.
In the eyes of Lopes’ Club Women’s Basketball Head Coach Erin Reinke, proper preparation would be vital if her squad hoped to be competitive in their second matchup. “We had just come off the winter break,” explained Reinke, “We had three practices and one game before we played them a second time, so we were more prepared as a team.”
According to Reinke, much of the Lopes’ preparation was spent on improving defensive execution and overall effort in an attempt to not only stifle Ottawa’s offense, but to also jumpstart their own. “Our defense is what starts our offense,” explained Reinke. “Knowing their role on the court is an important part of how they will execute.”
On January 20, the Lopes got to see if their preparation would be enough. In true nail-biting fashion, the Lopes fought gallantly until the final seconds of a game that would be decided by only one possession. Alas, as the final buzzer rang out, Ottawa emerged on top, 56-54.
As the game came to a close, it was clear that the Lopes had achieved both their defensive and offensive goals, reducing Ottawa’s scoring output by 16 points, and managing to outscore their previous attempt by 13. Despite falling just shy of the victory, Reinke was proud of the way her team fought after their original loss. “They responded well as a team,” noted Reinke. “It shows we are a competitive club team.”
The Lopes next face Elite 1 Prep Academy at 4 pm on Friday, January 26 at the Lopes Performance Center on the GCU campus.