Despite Losses, Women’s Basketball Holds Impressive Record


At 11.3 PPG, Colleen Cavaney ’19 is second on the team in terms of points per game.

The Middlebury women’s basketball team has improved to a 13-2 record, losing only one of those battles to conference competition. Though both losses have come in recent games, the overall successful start to the season will propel the Panthers into championship season.

Forward Vanessa Young ’20 acknowledges that the team has had great success so far, but were let down by the two losses. Young sees these losses as stepping stones going further into the season: “We’ve definitely had a really successful season so far. Although we dropped two games — Westfield St. and Tufts — we’re using those games as good learning experiences to continue to improve upon all the hard work we’ve done.” 

It will take a lot of perseverance to move past the loss to fellow conference-rival Tufts. Last year, Middlebury landed fourth in the NESCAC rankings, behind Amherst, Bowdoin and Tufts. All three powerhouses made it into the NCAA tournament — something the Panthers hope to achieve this year.

Alana Kornaker ’22 attacks the Skidmore perimeter.

Accomplishing that goal entails strong intra-conference games. The Panthers know they must compete well against other NESCAC teams, especially Bowdoin and Amherst. Learning from the loss to Tufts, as well as Westfield State, is the next step in ensuring a successful season. 

With a deep bench, talented offense, and skilled defense, Young sees potential in her squad, as do the rest of her teammates. 

“We’ve seen that our defense wins us games, so we are definitely going to work harder to lock that down, especially 1 v 1 defense, in order to finish out our season strong,” Young said. “We know that we’re capable of achieving a lot this year, and are looking forward to getting it done!”

Alex Huffman ’19 advances the ball up the court.

Their impressive record should not be overlooked. Thirteen wins to a minimal two losses is a great start to head into the later parts of the season. Additionally, the squad beat three other NESCAC teams: Connecticut College (49-44), Wesleyan (69-57) and Bates (70-58). 

The next big game will be against Williams this Saturday, which will be a testament to the team’s hard work and further NESCAC play. Starting in February, the Panthers will face both Bowdoin and Amherst. This gives Middlebury plenty of time to smooth out their play and finish the regular season with strength.