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Returning Players Serve as Role Models for New Teammates

By Andrew Smith

Head Coach Sade Jackson at center court.

The Adelphi women’s basketball season is well underway, with two veteran players, Emily Miccile and Emma Cuccurullo, who serve as role models for their 15 teammates. Here they, along with head coach Sade Jackson, share where they feel the women’s basketball team stands to date.

Miccile, a graduate student who has been on the team for five years, said, “I think that our team is finally starting to put the pieces together this season. While our record might not show it, we have a team that plays with a lot of heart and that is a lot better than our record indicates. We have battled injuries and setbacks throughout this season, but I think the pieces are starting to fall into place with this team.”

Miccile, who is a guard and can also play a stretch forward, said the team has a fresh roster full of new coaches, freshmen and transfers. “It has been a learning curve for everyone and I think we are finally starting to figure out what we need to do to all be successful together and individually.”

The team is building a strong foundation through team unity. Cuccurullo, currently a senior and a forward, also expressed the importance of team improvement. “The team this year has really progressed and made improvements as the year has gone by. People have really adjusted well. I am excited for the rest of the season.”

Coach Jackson said that given only two of the 17 players have experienced play at Adelphi prior to this season, there has been a need to allow for team growth. “With a handful of new players and a new coaching staff, it has taken some time for us to learn one another's strengths and weaknesses, but I think we are adjusting pretty well.”

Team growth can occur gradually throughout the season, even through early losses, said Jackson, adding that these have served as a turning point for the team. “I believe two back-to-back losses earlier in January was eye opening for us as a team. It has helped us realize the commitment that is needed on the defensive end to win games. We have made some strides since then, but there is always room for improvement.”

Both Miccile and Cuccurullo also discussed how each game matters and served as turning points for the team to build upon.

“I think one turning point this season was right around our holiday break,” Miccile said. “We had two games canceled and two games postponed, which really put into perspective how much each game matters. This also really puts into perspective how quickly games can be taken away from us, which makes each game matter even more. I think realizing the importance of each game and how it can affect our rankings and postseason play is what has motivated us in these recent weeks to step up our performances.”

At the same time, Cuccurullo said a win streak can serve as another turning point. “We put three three wins together in a row. I am hoping this momentum will carry us through the rest of the season and into the postseason.”

While the team entered the season with a fairly new roster they are ready to compete. “I would say we are all looking forward to growing into the team that we know we can be,” Jackson said. “Our goal to start the year was to win a Northeast 10 Championship and we are certainly moving in the right direction.”

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