Kelly Slattery of the women’s basketball team and Kenny Pancoast of the Men’s Swimming and Diving Team have earned the Springfield Student Newspaper Players of the Week award for 11/30/11 through 12/07/11.
Athletes of the Week for 11/30/11–12/07/11
Senior forward Kelly Slattery picked a great time to record her first double-double of the season. The women’s basketball team, in the midst of a three-game losing streak, entered Tuesday night in a big road game against conference-foe Smith. Slattery led the way to a 54-46 win, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for the Pride (3-4, 1-2 NEWMAC). The Somers, Conn. native leads the team in points per game with 11.6 and is third on the team in rebounds with 4.3. Slattery, a Sports Biology major, was elected to the NEWMAC First Team as a junior. In her junior campaign she had 13.4 points per game along with 6.4 rebounds per game. Springfield, like the last two seasons, is off to a slow start, but in both instances the Pride has gotten better as the season progressed.
Q. How difficult is it to get a double-double in a game?
A. My double-double came directly from the entire team’s hard work. We played like a unit and I had the opportunity to be successful because of that.
Q. Springfield has a balanced attack this year of offense and defense, what does coach Graves focus on more?
A. Coach loves to transition, and she wants us to learn how not to be predictable on offense. However, defense has always been her passion. If it was not for our half court defense we wouldn’t have been in the situation that we were.
Q. What sparked the defense to propel the way it did in the second half on Tuesday against Smith?
A. During the second half, when we went on a run, the defensive intensity kept increasing. We feed off each other on defense and that was why we won that game on Tuesday.
Q. In what way do you try to make team activities fun?
A. Our team is a unit on and off the court. We eat together every night, we spend every Friday night together. We go out to eat together, we literally do everything together.
The junior diver won NEWMAC Diver of the Week for his performance in the weekend’s Ithaca Invitational. Pancoast was the male diver of the week, while fellow Springfield diver Jennifer Thompson won female diver of the week. Pancoast and Thompson both helped their respective teams to third-place finishes at the three-day event. The Monroe, Conn. native placed third in the one-meter with a score of 435.80. He also had a fourth-place finish in the three-meter with a score of 463.25. This is the second time this season that Pancoast, a Physical Education major, was selected as the NEWMAC Diver of the Week. Back on Nov. 21, Pancoast was picked after his impressive dives in a tri-meet with Keene State and Wheaton. Currently the men’s team is 2-2 and 1-0 within the conference.
Q.Having earned NEWMAC honors this week, how will that propel you into your next meet?
A. Earning NEWMAC diver of the week for the past two weeks in a row has definitely been a confidence booster for me as more difficult meets get closer.
Q. How is your 463.25 (three-meter) and 435.80 (one-meter) point performance determined?
A. The sport of diving is based off of a scoring system in which you earn a certain amount of points for each dive that you do. Depending on how hard the dive is and how good you are able to perform it is what dictates your final score in the end.
Q. What drives your passion to be a member of the dive team?
A. My teammates really play a big part in my passion for diving. Without their encouragement and support through each tough practice and hard meet, I honestly wouldn’t be in the position I am in right now.
Q. Looking forward, what can you evaluate on the next portion of your season?
A. I feel like I have a great opportunity for success this year and hopefully I will be able to compete in the Division III NCAA championships again and represent Springfield College well.
Ricky Mazella may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org