HCAC coaches pre-season poll predicts Franklin to finish fifth this season
Junior shooting guard Maddie O’Day has played basketball for 11 years.
Her most memorable game was during her freshman year at Franklin College in the second quarter against Bluffton University.
The team knew it was going to be a tough game, but O’Day said they weren’t going down without a fight. O’Day said she came up off the bench and was hitting shots left and right and scored 15 points in 17 minutes.
“We all played so well together as a team, too, and I couldn’t have played such a great game without them,” O’Day said. “I only remember my teammates getting super hype for each other, which was an awesome feeling.”
These teammates must work together to meet predictions this season.
A Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches’ pre-season poll predicted the women’s basketball team will finish fifth out of 10 teams in the conference this season. The team finished last season with a 14-12 record.
Assistant Coach Chantel Poston said the team doesn’t focus on rankings or numbers; it focuses on things they can control like worrying about bettering themselves.
“The only people we focus on proving a point to is one another each day by holding each other accountable for getting better and being the best we can be day in and day out,” Poston said.
The team is young this year, welcoming back only nine players from the previous season. They are led by four upperclassmen: seniors Riley Achenbach and Mallory Cast and juniors Maddie O’Day and Kelsey Smith.
However, O’Day said they have a tremendously talented freshmen class that will hopefully give them an advantage over their competition.
Transylvania University was selected as the pre-season conference favorite by the HCAC, earning 94 points and five first-place votes. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology was right on their heels with 90 points and four first-place votes.
Transylvania and Rose-Hulman are Franklin College’s biggest competition this year, O’Day said.
“My dad always told me, anyone could be beaten on any given day, so don’t count anybody out,” she said.
Poston said she and Head Coach Dana Haggenjos are hoping their players compete at the highest level each game, be the best version of themselves each and every day on and off the court, make amazing memories with one another and have fun while doing so.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to represent Franklin College and are humbled and blessed to have the privilege to play the sport we love with the people we love,” Poston said.