Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 30, 2024

Since the middle of December, the Hopkins women’s basketball team has played in 11 additional games.  During that time, the Lady Jays went 8-3, bringing their record to 9-6 in the Centennial Conference and 10-9 overall.  Dating back to Jan. 8, the team has won eight of their last nine games, all in conference.

The sole loss came on January 23, when the Jays fell 51-47 to Franklin and Marshall at home, despite maintaining a 47-44 lead with just 2:04 left in regulation.  However, in their two previous games, the Lady Jays crushed Bryn Mawr and Dickinson 86-29 and 70-46, respectively.  The three stars of the games were senior forward Alex Vasilla, sophomore guard Stacy Fairey, and freshman guard Liz Tommasi.  The three combined for 77 points in the two games, and the 6’1 Vasilla accumulated 29 rebounds.

The Lady Jays continued their dominance Tuesday night, rolling over Bryn Mawr on the road 72-37.   Helping in the trounce were the usual suspects with Vasilla's 19 points and 9 boards, Fairey's 13 points and 5 steals and Tommasi's 10 points and 7 rebounds.  Also contributing to the effort were sophomore guard Jessica Brown, sophomore center Ciara McCullagh, and freshman guard Scarlett McCracken who herself scored 5 points.

On November 27 in a heartbreaking 53-51 loss in Goldfarb Gymnasium against Washington College, junior guard Alyssa Fleming was lost for the season with an ACL tear.  Fleming had started all 6 games of the season, and head coach Nancy Funk gave Liz Tommasi the starting nod.  Since then Tommasi has averaged 8.3 points per game.

“Its been a great pleasure to be able to play and contribute to the team as a freshman,” Tommasi said. “All of the girls on the team are wonderful to be around and are all very encouraging of each other. I hope that we can give the seniors the season they deserve.  Our three seniors Alex Vasilla, Sarah Higbee, and Kara Follmer all have been very helpful in the transition from high school basketball to college, and as for who I look up to on the team, I have really hit it off with Alex.  We both seem to feed off of each other and motivate each other.”

Hopkins is now 9-6 in conference play, trailing the 8-5 Muhlenberg Mules by mere percentage points for third place in the Centennial Conference. The Jays are looking poised to overtake the Mules for third place, as the team cruised to a 52-44 victory on the road against them just this past Saturday.

With just over two weeks left in the season, the Lady Jays are looking to move up in the standings in the Centennial Conference.

Swarthmore remains number one at 11-2 in conference, just ahead of Gettysburg’s 11-3 record.  There are five games remaining on the schedule, all in conference, and the Jays will have a legitimate shot at moving into second or first place.  Their next two games are at home, facing off against Gettysburg on Thursday at 6 p.m. and Swarthmore on Saturday at 3 p.m. They will then play their final home game against McDaniel on February 6, before closing out the season with road games against Ursinus (6-8) and Franklin and Marshall (4-11).  In their first meetings, Hopkins beat Swarthmore, Ursinus, and McDaniel, while losing narrowly to Gettysburg and Franklin and Marshall.

“This season was definitely a rough start for us" commented team leader Alex Vasilla, who recently became only the sixth Lady Jay to secure 800 rebounds.  “Coming off of two really successful years, it was kind of disappointing and frustrating since it was clear that we have a lot of talent and our team was loads better than our record showed. We faced a lot of adversity at the beginning of the year even before the season started with injuries that really hurt us. Haley Bush and Alyssa Fleming were tough setbacks, especially Alyssa because she was in a guard position, where we were already not deep. We tried a bunch of combinations, but finally found Liz, and everything clicked. We started playing together, reading each other, developing the type of chemistry that all of the veterans were used to from past seasons.  Now we have a lot of contributions coming from different players all the time, whereas before we were trying to force things to work.”

Coming down the homestretch, it looks to be a very exciting finish for the Blue Jays, who will undoubtedly be a factor in the Centennial Conference playoffs.

“The team’s morale going into these next few games is pretty serious,” Vasilla said. “We know how important both these games are in clinching a playoff spot for the post season. As long as we keep playing to win, and taking games one at a time, one battle at a time, we have the ability and confidence to blow both these teams out.”

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