Feb 23, 2020
Fresno State forward Maddi Utti layup attempt is denied by a Boise State defender in a 72-60 loss on Jan. 19, 2019 at The Save Mart Center. (Anthony De Leon/ The Collegian)

Chemistry on the court, Bulldogs get ready for the new season

A new season is about to begin for the Fresno State women’s basketball team. With hopes of championship tournament and wins, the team will prepare for the season welcoming six new players after losing half the team from last year and its best player Candice White.

The Bulldogs had gone 15-8 overall, 10-2 at home and 11-7 in the Mountain West conference in the 2018-2019 season. They finished fourth in the regular season and in the conference tournament after defeating the No. 5 seed UNLV but falling to the eventual champions Boise State University, Broncos. 

“We have a lot of kids that can definitely play, so we are just trying to see how they fit in. Ideally, we would really like to play quite a few kids and run them in and out, and we press, and we defend. It is nice when we have a big team that can contribute,” head coach Jaime White said. 

With the loss of their best player, the ‘Dogs are looking to revamp their team and will look to team veterans to be leaders in the upcoming season. Bulldogs, like guard Aly Gamez, forward Maddi Utti and forward Genna Ogier, will have to step up to the task and be leaders for the team.  

During the summer, the ladies worked tremendously hard as a team in order to be ready for the start of this season. 

They had constantly put in eight hours per week once school started and have officially started practicing 20 hours per week for this season.

The Bulldogs want to win and that is their primary goal for this season, coming together as a unit and focusing on being in the top three before the tournaments. 

“My main goal would be to win the Mountain West Championship, and I would like to beat Boise as well,” Ogier said.

The last time the Bulldogs won a Mountain West Championship was the 2013-2104 season in the hands of head coach Raegan Pebley. That season, the Bulldogs had a record of 24-9, earning them a trip to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. 

One of the biggest challenges for the ‘Dogs next season will be Boise State. Last year’s conference and tournament champions. The Broncos will have the majority of their team from last season returning, making them a very difficult opponent on the court. 

The Bulldogs are confident that with hard practice and studying Boise State’s films they will be ready for them next season. 

“Our job right now is to stay focused on the preseason and the games that we have, continue to work with our lineup and figure out who goes where. And at that point, I think it kind of takes care of itself.” White said.

This season, the Bulldogs will host teams, like UC Davis, Brigham Young University and Northern Arizona University for their preseason. The Bulldogs will have a scrimmage game against Fresno Pacific on Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. at the Save Mart Center. Their first regular season game at home will be on Dec. 7 against Utah State University.

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