Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball 2018-19 Schedule was released Tuesday by Head Coach Roy Dow, which includes a trip to Hawaii in December, a match-up against a Division I program and match-ups versus a number of NCAA Tournament Teams.
The 2018-19 iteration of the Poets Women's Basketball Program is excited to announce a tremendous schedule of quality opponents. With Coach Dow entering his third season leading the Poets the schedule reflects a desire to challenge the team in every competitive opportunity to foster steady improvement throughout the season.
The Purple & Gold jump-start their campaign next Monday, November 12 on Veterans Day as they host Linfield College in a Division III West Region Showdown. They remain at home next weekend, November 16-17 as they host Pacific (OR) and Colorado College during the Whittier Tournament.
Coach Dow: "The opening three games versus Linfield, Pacific, and Colorado College are a wonderful opportunity for us to jump right into West Region competition. We have to be playing well at the jump with Linfield College who defeated us last year. Being geographically isolated in a sense from the rest of the country when it comes to availability of NCAA Division III opponents, Whittier's conference, the SCIAC, and the Northwest Conference get a heavy dose of each other in their non-conference schedules. So, we open with Linfield, later that week on Friday we host Pacific, and after first semester exams we play perennial NCAA contender George Fox University and University of Puget Sound in Hawaii. Playing four teams from the NWC should give us great feedback as to our preparedness and competitive level."
After the three games in the opening week, Whittier travels to NCAA Division I opponent CSU-Bakersfield. Bakersfield is picked 2nd in the WAC pre-season poll with three players selected to the preseason WAC All-Conference Team. "To be able to measure our team against a quality Division I opponent at this stage of the season is a special opportunity and one our student-athletes will be eagerly anticipating," remarked Dow. "Hopefully it will raise our level of play because next we play three important SCIAC games after the Thanksgiving holiday."
Wrapping up November competition, the Poets open up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play on the road on Wednesday, November 28 as they take on the University of La Verne.
Whittier has six match-ups during the month of December with four coming inside of the Graham Athletic Center. They start with back to back SCIAC match-ups with Cal Lutheran (December 1) and Redlands (December 5) before traveling to Oahu, Hawaii for a week where they will match-up against George Fox University (December 18) and Puget Sound (December 19).
Without question the trip to Hawaii accompanied by fellow SCIAC member Chapman University to play a SCIAC-NWC challenge is another special highlight for the team. "Playing George Fox, an NCAA tournament team a year ago, and Puget Sound, another quality NWC foe, will certainly have our focus in the early days of our Hawaiian adventure. Most of our team has never been to Hawaii and despite the competition we are planning to enjoy everything we can of local culture and history. No doubt we will be visiting Pearl Harbor and the North Shore among other places, as well as some team building activities like a hike or two in addition to some beach time," said Coach Dow.
Following a brief break for the holiday break the Poets jump right back into the fray with back-to-back contests in the Purple and Gold Classic versus NCAA tournament participants of a year ago, Brooklyn College and Illinois Wesleyan, respectively. That tournament will conclude the Poets non-conference schedule. Pre-season Top 25 opponents: #10 George Fox, #12 Illinois Wesleyan—check. NCAA Division I opportunity: CSU-Bakersfield—check. Teams from last season's NCAA tournament—George Fox, Brooklyn College, Illinois Wesleyan—check. West Region games: the four NWC opponents plus Colorado College and UC-Santa Cruz—check.