Chadwick looks forward to a good 2021-2022 basketball season

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Jackson Wettstein/ISLAND WAVES

Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams practice for the upcoming season.

After a strenuous season affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s women’s basketball program is ready to come back stronger than ever. 

The women’s basketball program grew in confidence this offseason and they approach this season with the mentality to be better every single day by putting in the work.

Despite the traumatic situation through the 2020-2021 COVID season, the Islanders managed to fight through tough times and finish with an overall record of 6-13 and 4-7 in the Southland Conference. In their last game, the Islanders had fallen to Houston Baptist 70-78 after making a tough comeback when HBU overwhelmed the Islanders in the beginning. 

“We wanted to do everything that we possibly could to have a normal year under abnormal circumstances, we wanted to do what we could to safely play and try to live our lives,” said head coach Royce Chadwick. 

The women’s basketball program roster has 15 girls playing for the Islanders with the majority of players returning this season. Chadwick spoke about the experienced players from last season who will be possible starters this upcoming season.

Alexandria Pollard, a senior who plays center, is described as an outstanding basketball player who has done a good job with battling through the tough times. Alecia Westbrook, a junior who plays forward/center, started for the Islanders for two years and is a “double double waiting to happen” according to Chadwick. Makinna Serrata, a senior guard, is a returning player who Chadwick describes as a tremendous shooter who does good things to benefit her team. Hayle Campbell returns as a junior guard who is a tenacious defender who can shoot the ball. Paige Allen, returning sophomore guard, started for the Islanders last season and Chadwick hopes she can play more of her position this year. Olivia Dowden, is a returning  junior guard for the Islanders, who is an exceptional three point shooter. Chadwick acknowledges the rest of his returning players as he’s looking forward to starting the season with the group of women playing in the basketball program. 

Serrata averaged 8.9 points in a game and made 4.1 rebounds her junior year playing for the Islanders. She was ranked second on her team when it came to her steals and blocks. Serrata said her main goal this season is to make it to Katy to attend the Southland Conference Tournament and obtain a ring by playing hard. She describes how last season went for the team with COVID-19 complications and the tough ending for the season. 

“It was a little rough,” said Serrata. “I mean every time we got going, we got shut down for COVID and so it was just trying to keep it together. We finally got on a run and then ended.” 

The 2021-2022 Preseason All-Conference released the Southland Conference women’s basketball teams and Alecia Westbrook received Preseason All-Conference Second-Team. Westbrook led the team last season with 2.4 assists, 8.8 rebounds, and scored 12.1 points per game. TAMU-CC was predicted to finish fifth for the 2021-2022 season in the preseason poll. 

The women’s basketball program will be playing away at College Station against Texas A&M for their first game of the season on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on the Islanders Digital Network. 

“I think our players are enthusiastic about looking forward to the opportunity and it’ll be a great stepping stone for us,” said Chadwick. “We want to build, we want to play our toughest schedule as we can in November and December so that we can build our resume for January, February, so we’ll be playing good basketball.”