Catawba Women’s Basketball is Going Dancing
March 8, 2021
by Emma White '21, Sport Management & Sport Communication Major
Catawba’s Women’s Basketball has earned a spot in the NCAA II Southeast Regional Tournament. With only 48 teams selected into the tournament, the Catawba College Indians (10-3) will go in as a six seed, facing three seed, Carson-Newman (15-3) this Friday.
This is the first time since 2015 that Catawba Women’s Basketball has been in the tournament. Not only was this team selected to join the NCAA II tournament, but they were selected throughout the challenges they have faced this season in playing through a pandemic. Head Coach Terence McCutcheon says, “it’s all about having a group of people that are willing to adapt.” That’s exactly what this team has done throughout this season. From going into quarantine more than any other team, to only being able to play 13 games so far this season, to doing practices in pods, nothing really seems to slow this team down. As Assistant Coach Emry Tsitouris puts it, “we’ve got warriors on this team.”
The current seniors on the women’s basketball team have played under three different coaches throughout their time at Catawba and as senior Anna Gardner said, “that’s definitely made us all grow more compared to having one coach for all four years.” Therefore, being able to adapt is nothing new to the leaders of this team.
There’s no doubt about the love that this team or “family” as they would say, has for one another. The growth this season under the leadership of McCutcheon and Tsitouris can be seen through these players. In discussing the leadership of Coach McCutcheon, senior Shemya Stanback, said, “He’s going to push every player to be the very best that they can be and more importantly, he allows us to have a voice.” Senior Taisha DeShazo, goes on to say, “He knows how to give his players the confidence they need to play.” In referring to the leadership of Coach Tsitouris Anna Gardner said, “she is great, she is so easy to connect with and really knows how to coach us.”
The current Catawba team has never gotten a victory over Carson-Newman, so they are ready. This season, the Catawba Indians faced Carson-Newman in a regular season game on February 13, losing closely at 63-68. The team had just got released from quarantine and were only able to have one complete practice before the game. To say that this Catawba team is ready for a little revenge is an understatement. As Taisha DeShaz puts it, “it’s go time.”
It is a huge accomplishment to be selected into the tournament. The excitement from this team when they finally heard “Catawba” will put a smile on your face.
Check out Coach Tsitouris’ Twitter post of the craziness that transpired Sunday night: https://twitter.com/Emry_T/status/1368768093577768963
You can catch the Catawba vs. Carson-Newman game this Friday, March 12 at 6 P.M. EST.