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Through it all, Liberty girls are adjusting

In the ever-changing world in which student athletes have lived among COVID-19 for almost one year, Liberty’s girls’ basketball team continues to adjust well to the unpredictability of it all.

“You wouldn’t know from them that they haven’t been able to be in the gym and dealing with the challenges of this pandemic,” said Liberty coach Andy Wescoe. “Our mood since we’ve been back has been tremendous.”

The Hurricanes returned to the hardwood on Jan. 7 after a 10-month layoff, never having had the chance to get any practice time before winter sports season suspensions hit them from all directions.

“Our focus for the period where we didn’t have access to our gym was our strength and conditioning program. We had great participation in the weight room, and any basketball the girls could find, they did, from three-on-three tournaments, four-on-four leagues, any type of individual skill work they could find,” Wescoe said. “But I won’t try and fool you. It’s been tough not being able to play together for really any period since last season.”

The Lady Hurricanes will compete in their first game of the season on Jan. 21 after a little less than two weeks of practice.

“We’ll need to be really good in transition and create for each other in the half court with ball movement and continuous activity,” said Wescoe. “Our activity and growth as a unit on the defensive end is paramount.”

The Hurricanes are looking to improve on limiting turnovers as well as creating them.

Key returners for Liberty are Erin Eisenhart, Jess Farrell, and Layla Orth.

“[They] have the most experience, and we’ll need great leadership from them all year,” Wescoe said. “Leadership, team chemistry, and attitude have been excellent, and right now, I’m pleased.”

Liberty will host Northampton on Jan. 21 for its season opener.

“At this point we don’t have any nonleague games on the schedule, but that could change,” Wescoe said.