Surviving a Tough Season
By L.M. Chalmers
How do you go from a champ to a perennial underdog? Just ask Susan Deibert. It was one of the first lessons the Physical Education Major learned when she joined the Huskie Women's Basketball Team. During high school and the Aden Bowman basketball dynasty, Deibert says she was used to winning. As her fourth year with the much maligned U of S program draws to a close, she admits wins have been few and far between, and the team's 2 and 18 season record is a disappointment. However, she doesn't believe the numbers reflect the Huskies' talent level.
In the Canada West Standings this season, Huskie players made the listing in every point category. "I guess that's what's so frustrating," says Deibert. "We looked good on paper but when we got out on the court, something didn't click. You look at the talent and you wonder why it's not translating into wins." Adding to the frustration was the way other coaches and the public viewed the team. "Watch us play and then make your judgment," advises Deibert. "I think its so easy to join the bandwagon."
Deibert says there can be pitfalls and benefits in having such a difficult year. "When you lose all the time you start to question everything. Conflicts arise that would probably be ignored if we were winning. But still we got closer because of it. When you are being attacked from the outside you come together." Wins against British Columbia and Lethbridge, and several games that were decided within five or ten points show the team's potential. Deibert's four years of experience were recognized by a squad loaded with rookies, who voted her co-captain. However, commitment like Deibert's has been the exception in the past few years. The team has played the last two seasons without the benefit of a five year player. Win or lose, Deibert says she will give it her all next season. "I like the physical play, being in shape," she explains. "The fact that you learn about what you can handle physically and mentally helps you become more comfortable with yourself, I think."
Optimism is apparent as Deibert discusses her final year. "Seriously," she predicts, "I think we can break .500, but the player in me says we can do even better." After four seasons of struggling, Deibert's enthusiasm for basketball remains strong. "I still like to play. Half way through the season it sucks, you're tired and you want to quit, but I like being part of the team. I take it now while I can."
With a 2 and 18 record still fresh in her memory, Deibert is looking forward to the first tip off of next season when the battle to mold the underdogs into champions begins again!