With the season winding down, the Profs are currently in an excellent position.
Despite the 14-14 record on the season, the Profs took care of business in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and are now currently sitting 6-1 and third in the conference behind Stockton and Kean. With one conference game remaining on the season, and Kean and Stockton playing each other the final week of the season, there’s a chance that the Profs can win the NJAC. How do they prepare going into the final stretch of the season?
“I think overall just taking it day by day,” said co-captain Megan Jacobi. “We’re still locking in on practice, locking in our responsibilities, again anything can happen on a given day but the most successful thing for us is just maintaining our responsibility and our side of the court.”
Head coach Deanna Jespersen echoed the same philosophy as her co-captain.
“I mean, the same way we prepare for everything else,” Jespersen said. “One day at a time, try to focus on what’s right in front of us. This week we have some things to learn from the loss against Eastern, because there were some things I think we need to do better, so I think as long as we can evaluate what we didn’t execute well, and get one step better, those things will be good for us.”
With such an important week coming up, most teams would focus on the games that mattered most, right? Not the Profs. The Profs are taking every game seriously down the stretch, with each game being a learning experience for the important ones.
“I still worry about out of conference games,” Jespersen said. “Any game we play I worry about. It’s a growing opportunity for us, this week we play Kings and Wheaton, two very good teams, so we want to go into those matches and pay attention to anything that will make us better for the conference matchups.”
Jespersen taking every game seriously makes sense, but are the players taking it easy in some of them?
“Definitely not,” said Jacobi. “I think this year we really emphasized that out of conference matchups are extremely important, not only to prepare for those NJAC matches, but also for NCAA seeding, regional ranks [etc.], so every game we take serious no matter who’s on the other side of the net.”
All major league teams in every sport do what fans call, ‘scoreboard watching,’ where they check up on the teams they’re trying to catch in the standings. With that being said, the players admitted to peeping a little bit.
“A little bit, we definitely check if like, you know, how other teams are doing in the conference and things like that a little bit, you know overall we’re just excited to see who we play next and how the conference plays out,” Jacobi said.
However the coaching staff feels differently about scoreboard watching.
“No, I don’t think we really scoreboard watch at all.” said Jespersen. “I mean we’ll definitely pay attention to the Stockton-Kean game because that will determine our seed for the tournament, so if Stockton wins then we’ll be in second, if Kean wins there will be kind of a three way tie. So that we’re definitely gonna do because if we end up the top-two we get a first round bye.”
After the Profs won against New Jersey City, their 6th consecutive NJAC win, they’ve now turned their attention toward their final matches of the season, including their final conference matchup against Rutgers-Newark on Oct. 29.
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