The women’s basketball team started off the season 3-0 after winning their opening series at home in the Rose City Classic. After last season’s 10-15 finish, the Rangers avenged themselves with their sweep in this year’s annual event.
In what could have been labeled as a ‘rebuilding’ season, the team brought in six freshmen, all of whom have contributed to this year’s success. However, among the returners is junior captain Hailey Stine, who has shined bright during the team’s run.
Stine, a 5’8” guard has scored 315 points in her career and averaged 15.3 points during the team’s start to the season and was named the Rose City Classic Most Valuable Player. Drew won in a dominant fashion, outscoring their opponents by a combined 47 points in the two games.
“Being named MVP was a great feeling but I could not have done that without my team setting me up for success the whole game,” Stine said. “Every single person on our team had an opportunity to get minutes and everyone scored. I could not have been more proud of my team and the energy they brought with them from start to finish.”
The team hit a setback with their first loss against Wesleyan University, but Stine remains positive in her outlook for the season and for conference play.
“We are looking to make it to the playoffs. However, before we do that we need to work on developing as a team,” Stine said. “We are a very young team this year but everyone has the potential to step up and really make a difference on this team. Once we do that and continue to get better, we will be a tough team to compete against.”
Stine’s passion and intensity was not formed overnight. She has worked hard throughout her career trying to perfect her craft, but possibly no harder than she did this past offseason.
“I worked on being consistent with hitting my outside shot. However, we played in a summer league this year and I started to become more aggressive getting to the basket,” Stine said. “I find myself living on the three-point line, but it’s the place I feel most comfortable. My weakness would be getting in my head too much if I’m not hitting my shot but my team and coaches have been working me through that.”
In Coach John Olenowski’s second season at the helm of the basketball program, Stine attributes a lot of her success and growth both on and off-the-court to Olenowksi. But it is her mother and father’s mentorship throughout her youth and into her college career that has been most impactful.
When speaking of her father, Stine says, “He’s the most competitive person I know and never lets me forget it. He taught me how to get focused before games and have an aggressive mindset as soon as the whistle blows. Him and my mom are definitely my biggest supporters and hardest critics.”
Stine grew up in Annandale, N.J. which is located 31 miles west of campus and wants to become a veterinarian following her graduation from Drew. She chose Drew for its campus and how comfortable it was geographically.
“I wouldn’t change my decision; I have some of my best friends here that I know will be a part of my life for a very long time,” Stine said. “I love how close all of our athletic teams are and how we support each other every game. It’s a special feeling here when you have a bad game, it seems like everyone is there to pick you up. You can’t find that at too many other schools.”
After dropping their last game to Wesleyan, Stine said about their opening Landmark Conference matchup against Catholic, “Our team is very hungry to show what we are capable of. We are very focused on improving what we did over the past weekend and starting off our conference play right. I think this is a great opportunity to really make a statement in the conference.”
The team plays this Saturday at home at 4:00 p.m. against The Catholic University of America.