Women’s basketball team takes on Tar Heels at Chapel Hill

Spinnaker

The UNF women’s basketball season is up and running, coming off a win against Valdosta State Nov. 6.

The Ospreys defeated the Blazers 60-35 in the exhibition game inside the UNF Arena. With the first game jitters out of the way, the Ospreys are focused on their next opponent, one of the toughest games this season.

The Ospreys take on the University of North Carolina Nov. 12 at Chapel Hill. Besides facing teams within the Atlantic Sun Conference, this game against UNC is one to prepare for, said head coach Mary Tappmeyer.

“I think we got a lot of work to do,” she said. “I thought we saw a lot of improvement from the UCF scrimmage to the Valdosta game.”

Defensive intensity improved the second half during the Valdosta game, she said.

The team has a strategy for improvement, and to work on defense. This starts with turnovers.

“We need to force turnovers or quick shots, and then hope to use our depth to be able to run on people,” Tappmeyer said.

The Tar Heels are ranked No. 15 in the preseason AP poll in Division I and have played one exhibition game against Division II Carson-Newman, winning by a score of 116-27. Playing a top 25-ranked team in the nation is no easy feat, but it is more than just putting points on the board to secure the win.

“We obviously know that they’re a really good team but we’re not really going to change any of our game plans as the way we play,” sophomore guard Jadhken Kerr said.  “We are going to stay aggressive and play the way we know how to play.”

Senior point guard Julie Syquio said it will be exciting to play a team of high caliber to test the Ospreys, but they will still be focused on their own game plan.

“Overall they are a lot bigger than us, but I know what will help us is our hard work and positioning,” she said.

If the Ospreys stay physical with the Tar Heels for the entire 40 minutes, they will stay competitive, Syquio said. UNF has also been working on fitness and plans to use that against the game in Chapel Hill, in an attempt to create more turnovers.

The Ospreys take on UNC in one of the four big games against competitors including Cincinnati, the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.

“Every game in college, you have to be focused and ready to go,” Tappmeyer said. “I think that learning process will be huge for us, how quickly they adapt to the amount of work and the intensity of work that has to happen when you’re in college.”

She also said skill-set and basketball knowledge-wise, they are capable of competing.