For Johnna Kinney, judging progress does not always define itself within convenient win and loss parameters.
Looking at her team from strictly those guidelines would miss a significant amount of development in the season’s first two weeks. The Archers, while 0-5, have performed well in a majority of those contests, including Tuesday’s 23-25, 17-25, 23-25 loss to Lewis and Clark Community College.
As has been the case in the early going this season, the Archers’ defensive efforts helped STLCC to remain competitive throughout Tuesday’s contest.
Tuesday’s loss came after a couple near-misses over the weekend, most notably a five-game loss to Lake County College while at College of DuPage. The close matches have been a credit to the team’s tenacity, particularly when faced with early deficits.
“It was very encouraging,” Kinney said her team’s overall performance. “We were down by eight early on and battled back. I think we’re real close, but each time we’ve done this, we’ve gotten nervous late. When it’s close, we’ve panicked.”
The Trailblazers were the second Division I program the Archers have faced in the early going, joining Southwestern Illinois College, STLCC’s opponent in the season opener.
The Archers’ challenging schedule takes a bit of a breather, as STLCC won’t see the court again until Sept. 3, when they will travel to Greenville, Ill., to take on the Greenville College junior varsity.
Kinney hopes the added time for rest and preparation will serve her team well in the coming weeks.
“It gives them time to recover a bit,” Kinney said. “We’re a bit tired, but we’re going to be able to push them hard in practice with a week off. We’ve got a lot of situational work to do, and that’s what our focus will be.”