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The Lady Warriors

A few weeks back, I wrote a short piece on Guy Rancourt and the Lycoming College Basketball Team. Now it didn’t win any major awards, but my story helped increase the game attendance by five. Yes. The boys continue to play well, and they are gearing up for another postseason run. But it appears that the men aren’t the only team on campus who is making some significant noise.

The Lycoming College LADY Hoopsters have already secured a spot for the 2018 MAC Commonwealth Championship. The female Warriors are 16-5 overall and 11-3 in conference. Lycoming clinched at worst a number 4 seed and are currently third. They trail league leaders, Albright and Messiah, by two with two games remaining.

It’s honestly been a tremendous year for Coach Chris Ditzler and her Warriors. The gals are jelling, and those 16 wins are the most in a season since 1999. But it hasn’t been easy.

“This is a great group,” Coach Ditzler explained. “There’s a nice mixture, and we are really playing well together. We’ve had to deal with some tough injuries, but the gals continue to work hard and find ways to win games.”

Lycoming got off to an impressive start. They were 7-2 and were matching up with a scrappy Randolph Macon squad in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Yes. The Lady Warriors travel well. Only a few minutes in, Sophomore forward Kayla Kline went down hard. It turned out to be a season-ending knee injury for the Mifflinburg native. Kline was averaging 14.6 points and 6.3 boards at the time. I hear she is an even better softball player. Ouch.

“That one really hurt,” Ditzler continued. “Kayla did so much for us on the court. Some would have folded, but we persevered. Several picked it up, and our team has rallied since.”

One of those 16 victories was number 300 for Coach who is her 25th year. Senior forward Shelby Mueller leads Lycoming in many categories. The Spring-Ford high school standout is averaging 14.8 points and 10.2 rebounds a clip. She is one of the MAC’s very best. Mueller was a first team all-conference selection in 2017, and she just joined the 1,000-point club a few weeks back. Shelby is an outstanding player and a very polite kid. She is an excellent student majoring in Medical Sociology.

“It’s been a really fun season.” The 5’11” senior relayed. “I am really proud of my teammates and what we’ve accomplished. We are looking forward to the playoffs and remain very focused.”

Sophomore Akilah McFadden from nearby Lewisburg has been playing well of late. The 5’7 guard was recently tabbed as the MAC Commonwealth Player of the Week. McFadden averaged 16 in wins over Alvernia and Arcadia. She also tallied five rebounds and five dimes in both league contests. She is a great kid too. In fact- they all are.

Special thanks to Coach Ditzler for allowing me to swing by practice. It’s always a blast in Lamade Gymnasium, and it brought back so many great memories. I wish the Lady Warriors the very best and to the senior class- continued success. Cheers.

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