Women’s basketball starts play

Photo by Sam Roettgen

The Truman State University women’s basketball team started play Sunday, October 28 against Western Illinois University.

The Bulldogs are looking to build off a 2017-2018 season in which they went 15-11 overall and 10-8 in the GLVC. Despite their success, they lost in the first round of the GLVC tournament.

The team begins its schedule with two exhibition games followed by an invitational tournament, three home games and two more tournaments. The Bulldogs begin GLVC play Nov. 29 at Pershing Arena against Rockhurst University. After a short homestand, the team travels to Florida for the Florida Cruzin Classic Dec. 17-18. The Bulldogs then spend the rest of the season in GLVC play.

Coach Amy Eagan is entering her sixth season as the head coach of the Bulldogs. She is 164-134 in her career as a head coach and 88-54 with Truman.

“I think every year you assess what you have returning versus what you’re bringing in and how that’s all going to mix,” Eagan said. “Every year our goal is just to be the best team we can be at the end of the year and that we reach our capabilities, whatever that is, however many wins that is, as long as you do the best that you can. Now, that being said, I think we do have more of a veteran team this year, so I expect us to be pretty good.”

Eagan is 12 wins away from 100 victories with the Bulldogs. She reflected on what that milestone would mean both to her and to the people she has worked with.

“I think that just means I’ve surrounded myself with incredible people,” Eagan said. “You know as a head coach that if you don’t have assistants and GAs and players that work for you and have the same passion as you, then those things don’t happen. It just, I think, shows the great kids come through here.”

The Bulldogs have a number of returning seniors. Among them is redshirt senior guard Brooke Bailey. She reiterated the need to stay healthy.

I think the biggest challenge this year and every year is the longevity of the season,” Bailey said. “There are so many ups and downs within the season, and it is so important to stay positive and stay healthy. We only have 14 girls on the team this year, meaning that a lot of people will play a lot of minutes.

Another key returning player for the Bulldogs is redshirt senior guard Rachel Steinhoff.

Personally, I’m actually coming back from two ankle surgeries from over this summer,” Steinhoff said. “They were pretty involved surgeries, and so for me, my goal is just to get back to the game I love and be able to play with joy and confidence. I’ve missed almost all of preseason with the team, so to be able to get healthy and work my way into a contributing role my senior season would be huge. A conference championship is always the goal, and ultimately we want to be playing in March in the NCAA tournament.”

The Bulldogs are looking to make some noise in the 2018-2019 season. After losing in the first round of the GLVC tournament last season, they look to make a deep postseason run.

The first regular season home game for women’s basketball is against Missouri Western University at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 13 in Pershing Arena.