The Wayne State women's basketball team will look to qualify for the GLIAC Tournament for the first time since 2015 when they begin their season on Nov 11.
After entering the calendar year with a 5-7 record, the Warriors went 3-13 in their last 16 games, finishing with an 8-20 record last season.
WSU went 3-8 in games that were decided by five points or less. Junior guard/forward Jessica Murphy said playing well early in games but losing late was tough for the team.
"[Knowing] that if we could have done one more thing [on offense], or gotten one more rebound or one more stop we would have won the game, that was the hardest thing for us [from those games]."
Wayne State lost just two seniors from last year's team and returns nine players who saw playing time last season.
The Warriors will be led on offense by sophomore guard Nastassja Chambers, who averaged a team-high 12.8 points per game last season and senior guard Shannon Wilson, who averaged 12.3 ppg.
WSU has four true freshmen and two transfer players this season, along with redshirt freshman guard Amber Stephens, who suffered a season-ending injury last season.
One of the keys to success for Wayne State this season will be improving their road record from last year where they won just one game away from the Matthaei.
With the Warriors playing their first four games on the road, senior guard Sara Ruhstorfer said a good start on the road could be crucial for the team.
"I think that would be big especially coming [off of] last year," she said. "[Getting] a few wins right off the bat would be huge for our confidence."
Head Coach Carrie Lohr said she hopes the team will be rounding into form once GLIAC play starts on Nov. 30.
"I hope that we're not changing lineups and schemes [in] what we're doing, and by that point, we're in some sort of rhythm."
With just two players six feet or taller, Lohr said that speed and tenacity on defense will be important.
"We're going to need to extend the floor and try to play fast on both ends," she said. "We're going to have to defend [and] put a lot of pressure on teams and play [all] 94 feet of the floor."
WSU was picked to finish fourth in the GLIAC South in the GLIAC Preseason Poll, and Wilson was named to the All-GLIAC South Preseason Team.
Lohr said she is excited about what Wilson could provide the team this season after battling injuries all of last season.
"She's is not only healthy, she's in the best shape that she's ever been in since she's been a student-athlete here, and as a senior, she's truly on a mission to make her mark."
In their exhibition game versus Rochester College on Oct. 30, the Warriors posted an 85-57 win. A three by Jessica Murphy started the scoring for the Warriors early in the first quarter, and WSU held a 16-12 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Wayne State erupted from the three-point line, pulling ahead by as many as 16, taking a 38-19 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Warriors continued their hot shooting from three and remained in control for the win.
WSU had four players reach double-figures. Shannon Wilson led all scorers with 21 points, followed by Nastassja Chambers scoring 16 and junior guard Ja'Nae Williams adding 15.
Wayne State begins its season Nov. 11 in the GLIAC-GMAC Challenge in Painesville, OH versus Findlay at 6 p.m., and
WSU plays its first home game on Nov 21 versus Wright State Lake at 5:30 p.m.