The Hoosac Valley girls’ basketball team has set high expectations for itself after returning the majority of last year’s roster.
The Hurricanes went 13-7 last season and finished second in the South Division. They earned the No. 8 seed in the Western Massachusetts Division II tournament. In the tournament, the Hurricanes made a run to the quarterfinals where they were eliminated by Mahar in double overtime.
"We have set lofty goals for ourselves, I think everybody has," coach Ron Wojcik said. "We’re hoping to certainly get to the cage and make some noise down there and take a shot at a Western Mass. title. We are definitely looking to win our league, as well, so we’ll work hard for that."
Last season, Lenox stood in the way of the Hurricanes winning the South Division. The Millionaires beat Hoosac in all three contests the teams played.
Hoosac returns a wealth of experience to the court this season as it sets its sights on a division crown. The team will have just three seniors. Tori Rumbolt, Erika Lucia and Celina Sistrunk are the team’s returning seniors.
Jen Gale and Meg Rodowicz return for their junior seasons and are both threats to shoot a lot of 3-pointers for the Hurricanes. Sophomore Emily Rosse will also return to the starting lineup after putting together a solid freshman season. Mckenzie Robinson will also return to the lineup for her sophomore season, and may be counted on to organize the offense.
"These guys know we just have to come and work at it everyday," Wojcik said. "We have to bring the intensity for 32 minutes.
"I think if we do that we’ll be OK. It’s tough to play against and it causes a lot of chaos."
In the early stages of the season the Hurricanes are still working to improve on their style. With an experienced group of starters, Hoosac Valley will run an up-tempo defense this season, pressing the ball carrier and attempting to cause turnovers and bad decisions. The hope for the Hurricanes is that solid defense will turn into productive offense.
"We just need to get better at it," Wojcik said. "We’re not where we need to be with [our style] yet, but after just a few practices we’re getting there."
Intensity will be the name of the game for the Hurricanes this season. Both on offense and defense, the Hurricanes will look to keep the tempo high throughout every game.
"For the first few games, that’s really what we’ve been working on," Wojcik said. "The defensive pressure and intensity is big for us."
Three-pointers may be the way the Hurricanes do the majority of their scoring this season. In the season opener, Hoosac knocked down eight 3-pointers against Mount Greylock. Gale had three of those, while Rosse and Rodowicz each hit two shots from behind the arc.
Rodowicz then had her team’s only 3-pointer against Wahconah on Dec. 12. Defense ruled that contest as the Warriors pulled off a 38-29 victory over the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes return to the court tonight to play Putnam.