By Melissa Freund
Assistant Sports Editor
With the Midwest Collegiate Conference tournament right around the corner, the Lady V-Hawks basketball team is optimistic with only two match-ups left before the quarterfinals.
After their nail-biting 66-64 loss to Grand View University on Feb. 9, the V-Hawks are sitting with an overall record of 10-18. Given their overall record of 10-21 last year, the team is looking to finish the 2012-13 season with a better record than 2011-12.
While the Lady V-Hawks are 4-6 in conference play, senior forward Jess Pavlinec is confident in the team’s abilities.
After being named an MCC Academic All-Conference player the past two years, the nutrition and dietetics major from Naperville, Ill., is hoping to clench a few more victories before retiring her uniform.
“Every game that we’ve played in conference has been a battle,” stated Pavlinec. “Any team could be beaten any given day; it’s just a question of who wants it more that day,” which was apparent in their loss to Grand View.
However, Pavlinec is not discouraged by these narrow losses. Instead, she sees these challenges as giving the team, “more motivation to continue to get better in practice because we want to have that extra push at the end of the game.”
Averaging 5 rebounds, and 5.1 points per game, Pavlinec is only one of six seniors leading the Lady V-Hawks this season.
Pavlinec is leading the team with a total of 130 rebounds this season, but not far behind are fellow seniors Dani Templin and Laquita Becker, each grabbing 128 rebounds this season. Templin is also the second leading scorer on for the V-Hawks, averaging 10.4 points per game.
In contemplating her graduation along with her five teammates, Pavlinec reflected, “All of my teammates are my sisters and best friends, and I’m thankful that playing basketball has led me to them.”
However, it’s hard to think that I won’t be able to play the game that has brought us together and given us so many memories.”
Although they will be losing a number of strong players, Pavlinec foresees the Lady V-Hawks being “very successful” next year because “they all [the underclassmen] have a very hard work ethic.”
The V-Hawks finish their regular season with a home game against William Penn on Feb. 13, followed by Viterbo’s homecoming event, where the V-Hawks will take on Mount Mercy University on Feb. 16.