The Western Kentucky University Lady Toppers’ basketball team’s 2022-2023 season is underway as they are looking to build upon the success from last season.
“We are really competing with each other at practice and it is helping each other to get better to just grow as a team,” Alexis Mead said.”Our focus is not only on defense but to compete and win.”
“I have seen a lot of improvement,” Hope Sivori said. “I see a lot of excitement for the future. The main focus as always i s to play aggressive and hard. It is super exciting because it is going to be a fun season.”
“I am happy with our effort and intensity,” Lady Toppers’ head coach Greg Collins saad. “We are improving each day. We are having good practices as we are very focused. I feel like we’re at the point where we will learn more when we play other teams instead of ourselves and our practice guys, who are phenomenal. I like where we are but it’s time to turn the lights on and play.”
According to Collins, defense is where hsi team needs the most work. The girls like the style of play and enjoy working hard and being good at it. The hard part is being good at the other end of the floor.
“Coach (Greg Collins) always tells us not to worry about the offense. Just focus on the defense,” Mead said. “Don;t worry about the offense as it will come. We trust that as we were able to beat the boys a couple of times and we got better at it every time we scrimmaged them.”
“Defense is our main goal because defense turns into offense,” Sivori said. “We know we can score but there are some games where you don’t shoot the ball well but defense is something that you always need. You can’t always score points from offense but you can from defense.”
The Lady Toppers are one of seven teams that are playing without a senior. According to Collins , they are going to keep things simple and make sure they are grounded in confidence in the areas they need to grow in. The schedule will b e a bit challenging but the coaching staff likes to play against good teams from areas where their players came from.
WKU are still without a couple of key players due to injuries. Karris Allen is doing well and should be ready to go at the start of the season. Mya Meredith is making great progress. Collins said that she is not completely ready to go entirely yet but she is participating. The team is looking forward to the day that Meredith returns to action.
The Lady Toppers took an overseas trip to Italy to grow together and play some quality competition. Collins feels because of the youth on his team, it was good to play over there to develop team chemistry, for the experience and not let their first game played together to occur during the regular season.
“The schedule and trips are made this way so that we can get closer to some of the players’ families and friends so that they can come see them play and meet their teammates,” Collins said. “We’re going to California which is where Alexis (Mead) is from. Same typing goes for Gabby (McBride) and Jaylin (Foster) In conference play, when we are in Texas, .It will be a great experience for everyone on and off the court.
WKU was picked sixth of the 13 teams in the Conference USA preseason poll behind Middle Tennessee, who got nine of the first place votes, followed by Louisiana Tech and Charlotte, who received two first place votes.
Joining Collins on the Lady Toppers’ coaching staff are: former Lady Topper Ivy (Brown) Woodstock, Jhasmin Monk and Temeka Johnson.
WKU LADY TOPPERS ROSTER
1 Hope Sivori Guard Jr.
2 Aaliyah Pitts Guard Jr.
3 Alexis Mead Guard So.
5 Mya Meredith Guard So.
10 Acacia Hayes Guard Fr.
11 Jaylin Foster Forward So.
14 Teresa Faustino Guard Jr.
20 Macey Blevins Guard So.
21 Odeth Betancourt Forward Jr.
25 Jordan Smith Guard Jr.
32 Karris Allen Guard Fr.
33 Josie Gilvin Guard Fr.
42 Gabby McBride Forward Redshirt So.
WKU LADY TOPPERS’ 2022-23 SCHEDULE
Mov. 14th at Missouri TBA
Nov. 21st vs. Jiami (IH) TBA
Nov. 25th at Cornell 12:00 p.m.
Nov. 29th vs. Lipscomb TBA
Dec. 2nd at Ball State 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 11th vs. Little Rock TBA
Dec. 14th at Indiana State 5:00 p.m.
Dec. 21st at California Baptist 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 29th at Rice7:00 p.m.
Dec. 31st vs. Middle Tennessee State TBA
Jan. 5th at North Texas6:30 p.m.
Jan. 7th vs. Texas-San Antonio TBA
Jan. 11th vs. Alabama-Birmingham TBA
Jan. 14th at Florida International TBA
Jan. 16th at Florida Atlantic TBA
Jan. 19th vs, Louisiana TechTBA
Jan. 21st at Charlotte TBA
Jan. 26th vs. Florida International TBA
Jan. 28th vs. Florida Atlantic TBA
Feb. 2nd at Texas-San Antonio7:00 p.m.
Feb. 4th at Texas-El Paso2:00 p.m.
Feb. 9th at Middle Tennessee State TBA
Feb.16th s. Charlotte TBA
Feb. 18th vs. Rice TBA
Fev. 23rd at Louisiana Tech 6:00 p.m.
Fev. 25th at Alabama-Birmingham 2:00 p.m.
Mar. 2nd vs. Texas-El Paso TBA
Mar. 4th vs. North Texas TBA
CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT
Mar. 8th — 11th at Frisco, Texas TBA