After much excitement for Midnight Madness, the Spartan women’s basketball team came out eager and ready for the new season. And the ladies put Spartan fans in a good mood.
The night started out with lines of excited fans wrapped around the Breslin Center. Many were eager to see the women’s team, who finished 24-8 last season and earned a tournament berth for their fifth straight season.
As the evening went underway, crowds of fans ran into the Breslin Center to get players’ and coaches’ autographs from both the men and women’s teams.
The event started with a few numbers by the band and the spirit squad, to pump up the audience. Keenan Wetzel, redshirt junior on the men’s team, got the crowd ready with a video with clips from the Izzone campout, which was held on September 27.
Then it was time to meet the Lady Spartans. Each Spartan lady came out to their own signature song and busting a few moves. They came out in their camouflage gear to set the theme for the rest of the season – “Ready for War.”
Introductions started with the freshmen, who are Branndais Agee, Taylor Hengesbach, Tori Jankoska, and Aerial Powers. Next were sophomores Mariah Harris and Cara Miller. Then the juniors – Camille Glymph, Jasmine Hines, Kendra Lumpkin, Becca Mills, Anna Morrissey, and Madison Williams – were introduced. And then lastly, the senior class with Klarissa Bell and the captain Annalise Pickrel closed the player introductions.
It was time to hear a few inspirational words from the Head Coach Suzy Merchant. Continuing the theme, Suzy arrived to the court in a camouflage Hummer, with her sons right by her side.
After a loud “Go Green, Go White” between the fans and one of her sons, Merchant started by thanking the fans and expressing how both the men and women’s basketball teams are great teams. She then proceeded to talk about one the dedication of Madison Williams.
Williams, a 6-foot-7 redshirt junior, has been unable to play due to three ACL tears in three years. Madison, who had no idea of this special dedication, received a standing ovation from fans. After Merchant’s kind words, she finalized her speech by saying that Lady Spartans were ready to take on the season and bring home a victory.
After the the introduction of the men’s and women’s teams, it was time to finish the exciting night with a quick game against the men’s scouting team. The scouting team put up a good fight, but in the end, the Lady Spartans won 20-17.
Their first game is November 11, at Notre Dame.
Jennifer Aldridge is a Multi-Media Journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever