As the 2019-2020 Pacific women’s basketball season closes, the Boxers look to ride their success into the next year, and prove it was not a fluke. The team played in the Northwest Conference Tournament for the first time since 2009 and hosted a game for the first time since 1996.
The Boxers were projected to finish fifth within the Northwest Conference this season, which seemed like a plus in its own right, after Pacific finished eighth the season before. Instead, the Boxers sky rocketed to second place in the conference putting the school on the map and becoming a perennial contender.
“Being projected fifth did not really have an effect on the team,” adding “We are really young and a lot of the freshmen didn’t know the caliber of play and what to expect from other teams in our conference,” said Junior guard Camy Aguinaldo.
The freshman class played a crucial role in the Boxers’ success. Guards like Rilee Price and Brilie Kovaloff were both within the top four for points, assists, and steals per game. Freshman Alexis Intong was also a leader in the rebounding category for the Boxers.
“I think being young and starting fresh sets us apart from the rest of the conference,” said Aguinaldo. “Everyone came in with a positive attitude, a drive to win, and a mindset that was bought into the program.”
Early on the Boxers had critical wins over Whitman and George Fox, both of whom were ranked in the top 25 in the nation at the time. Many times after big wins, teams may come out flat against other opponents, but this team continued to stay motivated to the last possession of each game. Aguinaldo believes a former Boxer team created this spark.
“One of the biggest motivations for our team was witnessing the 1991-1992 women’s basketball team being inducted into the 2019 athletic hall of fame. The success of Pacific’s former team inspired us to be the best we could be by setting attainable goals that would challenge us,” said Aguinaldo.
With a sense of young energy and the perfect balance of veteran leadership, the Boxers quickly became feared within the conference.
Returning all but three players, this Boxers team has only scratched the surface on the potential and real question is how far can they go and how great can they be. The players understand their success but know they can achieve more next year.
“We will always be very proud of our success from this year. But we are not yet satisfied,” said Aguinaldo