High Hopes After Splitting Conference Games Over the Weekend

By: Nick Kieser

GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The spring semester has started for Vol State students and the Lady Pioneers are back in the mix as the team returned to action over the weekend.

Walters State (14-4) came to Pickel Field House on Friday night and defeated the Pioneers (6-7) by a score of 78-50.  The Senators would go on to win the next day at Motlow State to stay undefeated in conference play and continue their winning ways taking three wins in a row.

"Once that machine got going it was hard to stop.  Once they force you to play their style of game it becomes hard to stop.  They are big and very athletic so when they miss a shot they have that size and if we don't contain that they will have more chances to shoot," said head coach Otis Key on playing Walters State.

McKenzie Wallace and Amanda Bennett took charge for the Pioneers this game and stepped up as far as the scoring.  Bennett came off the bench and scored 13 points while Wallace dropped 7 points to keep the Pioneers afloat as long as they were in the first half.

"As we get closer to tournament time we are trying to tell the girls that you just need to be good for today and not worry about the game tomorrow.  We want to start that now and build the confidence up as we have more conference games," said assistant coach Tony Thompson.

The following day the Pioneers would snap a three-game losing streak against Roane State who traveled from Motlow State the night before.  Winning the game 61-51 against Roane was a good feeling as the Pioneers have their first conference win since defeating Jackson State 69-63 on November 17.

"I feel like we finally have our confidence back and that we all have a role on the team and all we needed to do was execute and that's what we did," said Xavia Williams after getting the win on Saturday.

"This is my last semester and I want to do the best we can.  After a win like this, I feel like everyone is confident and we're ready," said Aliyah Miller.

Next up on the schedule for the Pioneers is Southwest and Dyersburg and these are opponents the team has not faced yet this season.  The Pioneers will take this week to prepare for the conference games on the road and look to add on from the victory over the weekend.

"We need to do a better job at taking care of the ball, scoring, and not being under duress with the shot clock.  Being able to put teams away we just need to be able to do that.  My freshmen are coming along as I hoped they would and the sophomores keep doing a solid job." said Coach Key.

To stay up to date with the Lady Pioneers follow the team on Twitter @VSCCPioneersWBB for more updates and analysis.