The basketball season is right around the corner and UMass Boston’s women’s team is looking to make their presence known this season. Last year’s season was not ideal, as the team went 8–15, and lost to UMass Dartmouth, 91–51, in the Little East Conference Tournament (1). However, the incoming class of freshmen and the returning veterans have no plans of letting that happen again.
The women’s team has 11 new members, alongside six returning players. Amongst the returning players is standout graduate student Meg Dixon. Dixon returns after a season where she put up 16.3 points per game, 9.3 rebounds per game and shot 33 percent from three (2). Last season, she put together a monster performance, recording 35 points and 14 rebounds in a big win against Castleton (3). There’s no doubt Dixon is going to be a key factor in the team’s success this season, both on the court and in the locker room as a leader.
Alongside Dixon are two starters from last season looking to run it back. Keriann Farina is headed into her senior season after averaging eight points, four rebounds and three assists last year (4). Joining her is junior Sunny Green, who is coming off a season where she averaged 5.9 points and racked up 36 steals on the year, (5) as well as Paige Ollivierre who averaged 6.8 points, primarily coming off the bench as a freshman (6). The three of them look to move into larger roles this season and take leaps in their game, while also guiding the incoming class.
The schedule for this season is rather interesting. The women’s first seven games will come against out-of-conference opponents. They start the year against Mount Holyoke and Colby-Sawyer College and then take a trip to New York City to play back-to-back games against Hunter College. When they return to Massachusetts, they will go to Fitchburg to play the Falcons, and find themselves back in Boston playing Clark and Emerson (7).
It is not until December that the Beacons play a conference rival, Eastern Connecticut, but out-of-conference matchups, such as New England College, Worcester Polytech Institute, and Eastern Nazarene College are sprinkled throughout until the end of the month (7). The first two months will be very challenging, as the unfamiliarity of the opponents will be difficult, but not impossible to overcome.
After the start of the new year, the competition will be a lot more recognizable. The rest of the season will be against other LEC teams, such as Castleton, Plymouth State, UMass Dartmouth, Keene State, University of Southern Maine, Western Connecticut, and Rhode Island College (7). These opponents know the Beacons well, just as the Beacons know them. These heated rivalry matchups will be very important once the Little East tournament comes around.
The Beacons will face off against Mount Holyoke on Wednesday, Nov. 9, in what will be their first matchup in over a decade. Mount Holyoke is coming off an abysmal season where they finished the year 2–16, but that might be the reason to look out for them (8). The Lyons do not want to have a repeat of a season like that, and they will be fired up and playing hard fought basketball to try and secure a win. The Beacons should not take them lightly, and defend their homecourt like they would against any other team. Make sure to come cheer on the Beacons in the Clark Athletic Center at 5:30 p.m., and watch them start their season off right.