Missing playoffs again not an option

After missing the playoffs for the
first time since 1992 last season, the women’s basketball team is
looking to “surprise people” and increase its defensive intensity
as it begins its season Saturday, Nov. 9 against West Los Angeles


The season opener will be at 4 p.m. and it will be a double-header with the men’s team’s match against Rio Hondo College at the Falcon Gymnasium.

Last season, the women’s team had an overall record of 14-13 and a conference record of 8-8.

The women’s basketball team is seeking to turn its attention on defense and increase the tenacity on that end of the floor, a concept long emphasized by head coach Karen Welliver.

“We always emphasize defense,” she said. “Defense keeps you in games. A lot of our emphasis has been on winning the hustle plays, and making sure that we’re blocking out.”

With its two leading scores gone from last season, the team has lost its offensive focal points, but the incoming freshman and the returning personnel have offensive talents of their own.

“Offensively, we have some real skilled players, so we run a lot of five-player motion and plays where everyone kind of does everything. It attributes to the skill-set that these players have.”

Welliver noted the women have the desire to learn and get better, but the transition from high school to college is not a simple one, no matter the talent one may have.

“There’s always a learning curve with freshman, because it’s different,” she said. “Even if they’re really skilled, it’s a different play set, it’s different terminology, but they’re catching on and doing well.”

She added, “All the (women); how coachable they are, working on shooting form and all that kind of stuff, they just want to get better. It’s been a real joy this offseason.”

Sophomore guard Jacalyn Saiza said that aside from being analytical and bettering the Cerritos College team’s structure, it has been aware of what its opponents have been doing.

“We’ve been preparing on what the other teams are going to do. There are bigger and faster teams, but we’re keeping up. We’re learning new plays and working every day.”

As the team has been scouting its opponents, the season opener against West Los Angeles College is quite different in the sense that both teams are quite unfamiliar with their styles of play.

“(The team) hasn’t played (West Los Angeles College) for a long time,” Welliver said.

“It’s not like it’s someone where you know what they’re going to do. We have tape on them, but it’s going to be brand new. It’s going to be a fun home-opener. Hopefully a lot of people come.”

Sophomore forward Alii Salone said,We’re going to surprise a lot of teams. Teams might underestimate us, but if we remain vocal and play unselfishly, we’ll surprise them.”

Saiza added,We’re more than what people just see.”