Women swept in 3-game weekend



By Josh Birnbaum

The Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball team lost all three of its games, albeit against men’s teams, this past weekend during a tournament at Edinboro University.

“It was hard for us (to go from) playing women’s teams last weekend and dominating there to coming up against really strong men’s teams,” junior guard Shelley Chaplin said.

Indeed, the women lost to Southwest Minnesota State, Edinboro and Wisconsin-Whitewater with scores of 61-41, 54-35 and 74-20, respectively.

Shooting and turnovers were a major problem for the Illini. In the game against Whitewater, they shot 21.4 percent for the game. They also committed at least 13 turnovers in each of their three games.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“With the game being at a quicker pace against men, they have a tendency to rush their shots,” head coach Patty Cisneros said. “They’re just going to have to focus on seeing their shot, shooting their shot and getting that game-like intensity in their shooting drills.”

Despite being challenged in all of their matchups at the tournament, the women played hard and used each game as an opportunity to get better.

“They improved each game throughout the weekend,” Cisneros said. “As each game went on, they corrected some things they were struggling with beforehand.”

Chaplin, who scored 14 points against Southwest Minnesota State and 10 points against Edinboro, said that the experience the women get on these difficult weekends will help them later in the season.

“If we can hold our own against the guys, we can beat any women’s team in the country,” Chaplin said. “Playing against them and being beaten by them is all just a learning experience for us.”

The games were particularly invaluable to Bridie Kean, an Australian student, who has been training with the team since August. She played her first tournament with Illinois this past weekend.

“They were some of the hardest games I’ve ever played,” said Kean. “But as the weekend went on, I got a little more comfortable playing.”

The women’s next challenge will be a tournament hosted by the University of Missouri at the end of January, where they will once again face off against men’s teams. With games scheduled against Alabama, Arizona, Missouri and Texas-Arlington, Coach Cisneros feels her team can do well, especially since they have beaten the Alabama men before.

“They’re a great team, and they have the potential to play some great basketball, but it just didn’t happen this weekend,” Cisneros said. “But we got better, so that was a good thing.”