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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s and Women’s Carleton Basketball begin their much anticipated seasons

<ir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-4c0a21ad-e8df-8fa9-f6b5-1d1cc1652e74">As most Carls begin to longingly think about their 6-week winter break filled with relaxation time away from school, the varsity men’s and women’s basketball teams will be running two-a-day practices, sprinting up and down West Gym and living in the dorms.

Men’s and women’s varsity basketball spends most of their winter break in Northfield getting ready for a MIAC season. Senior and captain on the men’s basketball team, Mitch Biewen says that so far during practice, “the team is looking good.  We have had a lot of competitive open gyms and it seems like the guys are ready for the season to finally start.”

The team will look a little bit different than last year as they lost their leading scorer Tianen Chen, and a pair of seniors, John Eckert and Patrick English. As for how they will make up for these loses, senior and captain, Pete Bakker-Arkema ’17 says that “different players have been stepping up and the 3 freshmen have been playing well.” Bakker-Arkema said that sophomores, Freddie Gillespie and Noah Plewa, who likely will replace Chen’s post-presence, have been “some of the hardest workers on our team this offseason.”

The men’s squad finished in 7th place at the end of the MIAC regular season last winter, missing the playoffs by one spot. Sophomore guard Joh Farmer said their prospects for this year are look good. “We are a team with lots of experience and we hope we can improve from last season,” said Farmer. According to Bakker-Arkema, their goal this season is to finish in the top 2 in the MIAC and make NCAAs.

There is immense excitement in the air for the men’s team, as they have many things to look forward to this season. Sophomore Quinn Johnson says that he is most looking forward to “the team trip to Hawaii and hopefully making the D3 national tournament.”

The men’s team is not the only basketball squad at Carleton that gets to travel to a warm location this winter.

The varsity women’s basketball team travels to Pomona, California for their preseason tournament. Junior Sarah Paller said that she is most looking forward to this trip in order to “play against some great competition and bond with each other.” Indeed bonding will be important, as the women’s team welcomes four first year players onto the roster. These first years have the tough task of replacing the production from last year’s seniors, Gabbi Stienstra and Michele Arima, who according to Annabelle Leahy ’19, “were both really big contributors for our team last year.”

These first years will help the team write a new story this winter. Paller said, “Last year we definitely underachieved but we are excited to have a fresh start and hopefully close out some more winnable games.” It seems as though there is nothing but positive energy surrounding the women’s team as they look to start the season. Leahy said that she is “looking forward to spending a lot of time with teammates and seeing what we can accomplish.”

Both Knights squads start their seasons November 15 and look forward to seeing many fans make the trek across campus to cheer them on throughout winter term.

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