The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Women’s basketball welcomes four in new signing class, notches first win of year

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The women’s basketball team before its first home game of the season against East Tennessee State. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The Lafayette women’s basketball team (1-3 overall, 0-0 Patriot League) had a great week, welcoming four new members in its class of 2027 on the NCAA’s fall Signing Day before notching its first win of the season on the road against New Jersey Institute of Technology.

The team’s new signees include Grace Montgomery, Teresa Kiewiet, Tasha Chudy and Brynn Beffert. Head coach Kia Damon-Olson said that she was looking for “multi-dimensional” players who could add depth to the team’s existing roster and improve the team’s ball-handling skills.

Montgomery is coming to Lafayette from Victoria, Australia, where she plays in a semi-professional club league. She can play both point guard and shooting guard.

“There’s going to be a lot of things that I think will be a seamless transition for her [going into college basketball],” Damon-Olson said of Montgomery’s experience.

Kiewiet currently competes for Mankato West High School in Minnesota, where she has 771 career points. Kiewiet is a 5’10’’ shooting guard who will be able to fill multiple roles for the Leopards.

“I see her being an all-around contributor to our team… she’s one of those jack-of-all-trades kind of players,” Damon-Olson said. 

Chudy is a forward from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. There she has scored 1,000 points so far for her high school team as a five-year starter.

“We need to bolster our forward group—we’re a little thin at that position right now—so [Chundy] will be someone who can help us defend, rebound, get out and run in transition and also space the floor on offense,” Damon-Olson said.

Rounding out the class is Beffert, who is also from Minnesota. She tallied 1,000 career points as a five-year starting forward on the Hutchinson High School team. According to Damon-Olson, Beffert will be a “low post, interior player,” where she will also serve as “a rebounder, a screener, a rim-runner and a low post threat.”

Compounding the good news about their fresh additions, the Maroon and White gained their first win last Friday by pulling off a second-half comeback against NJIT. Junior guard Makayla Andrews cited the team’s unwillingness to give up in their 62-58 victory but noted that starting off the game strong is just as important. 

“We always have that fight, which I do think is a good thing to have. But sometimes we just need to have that fight at the beginning,” Andrews said. “So I think we can improve on starting from the jump and having that energy and feistiness about us so we don’t get in holes and have to fight out of them.”

Just two days after their win against NJIT, the Leopards dropped their first home game of the season, 65-45, to East Tennessee State University.

With guard Jessica Booth being the only graduating senior this year, this young team needs some time to adjust and flow as a unit.

“The more you play together, the more you learn how to play with other people. So it just takes time,” Andrews said.

“The learning process that you have to go through – and all teams go through it – that’s always a work in progress, “Damon-Olson added. “Even though I wish I could accelerate that for us, I can’t. It’s just one of those things that the practices and the games help us work through.”

The Leopards will continue with their non-conference schedule tomorrow at Siena College at 2 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Grace Sanborn, Assistant Sports Editor
Thinks hitting a ball with a stick outside for four hours is fun.

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