Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's basketball team looks to finish their season strong on Friday hosting Linfield College for senior night inside Olson Gymnasium. While the Lutes season hasn't brought as much success as the team had initially hoped, it's still been filled with unforgettable memories for the Lutes' three seniors Samantha Kelleigh, Lacey Nicholson, and Kaelyn Voss.
"My favorite memory by far is before every game we will blast any type of pump up music," senior Kaelyn Voss said. "Girls will be singing and dancing and it's just a great atmosphere for us to get ready to go to battle together."
As the season has progressed, it's been difficult for the seniors to recognize that their careers were nearing their completion. On Friday night, the seniors will have to leave it all out on the floor for one final time.
"I am not ready to give up the game," Lacey Nicholson said. "I will miss seeing the girls every day, and I will miss having an escape from stresses to do what I love."
"At most I will miss having my name be called as a starter, or when I score," Voss added. "Just the rush is something only in that moment you can experience."
As their final season comes to a close, the seniors will need to reach for new ways to fill their time. With their drive, though, that shouldn't be a very difficult task.
"I am someone who loves the competition and always trying to be the best self you can be, so I am actually throwing the javelin in track & field here," Voss said. "I am also applying to graduate schools and getting ready to take the next steps in my life after graduation."
"This spring I have my busiest school load yet," Nicholson said. "I will put a lot of my time into school work, applying for jobs and of course playing intramural basketball."
Still, the Lutes can't focus on those things until they tackle their final foe. If Voss and Nicholson have it their way, they'll be leaving the court for the last time with their heads held high.
"I want us to play confident and reach our full potential as a group," Nicholson said. "We played Linfield well for three quarters at their place. If we can put four quarters together we have a very good chance of winning."
"In our final game I would love to see the team play loose and all out. We have nothing to lose. We have worked so hard for so long," Voss said. "It will be a bitter sweet night on Friday, but a win will make it way sweeter."
Feb. 17: PLU vs. Linfield at Olson Gymnasium in Tacoma, Washington (6 p.m.)
Series History: The Lutes and Wildcats have met on 75 occasions with PLU enjoying a sizable 48-27 edge in the all-time series. The two teams last met on Jan. 21 in McMinnville with the host Wildcats scoring the final four points to emerge with the 58-54 victory. Lacey Nicholson led the Lutes with 15 points in a game featuring three lead changes and four ties.
About the Wildcats: Linfield (9-14, 3-11 NWC) looks to snap a six game slide, with its last victory coming against PLU back on Jan. 21. The Wildcats have been idle since last Friday, a 76-56 defeat to George Fox University in Linfield's penultimate home game of the season.
Dani Krier leads the Wildcat scoring charge, averaging 13.4 points per game. Audrey McMillan nets 9.8 ppg while Molly Danielson contributes 9.2 ppg and a team-best 5.6 rebounds per game.