HELENA -- From Nov. 3 to Dec. 2, the Carroll College women's basketball team will not have a single home game. Planned or not, head coach Rachelle Sayers is looking at the bright side of this road swing, both as a way to test her team now and prepare it for the conference season later.
"I think this team needs to be battle-tested. I think we're always trying to position ourselves to have the most success we can have come conference, and being on the road in conference is ridiculously hard," said Sayers. "These back-to-back games against challenging opponents is only going to prepare us."
The Saints' next two trips include stops in Salem and Eugene, Ore. Nov. 23 -24 and Caldwell, Idaho Nov. 30-Dec. 1.
While she sees the bright side, Sayers understands that this road swing can, and likely will, take a toll on her team mentally and physically. Sayers wants her team to be battle-tested, but she doesn't want them to be battle-worn. One way she is combating that is by relying on her four captains to be the pulse of the team.
"I rely on them really heavily to see where we're at and how were feeling. You know, how hard can we go today, what can we get done? I think that has really helped a lot to really focus on what do we need to do right now, what is most important," said Sayers. "I think, as a coach, you're trying so hard to get everything in, and you want to be great at everything, but there's a point and a time where your kids only have so much -- they have so much energy, they have so much focus -- so what do we have to get done right now to be ready or better than we were the day before?"
The Fighting Saints lost to NAIA Division II No. 14 Corban University 65-56 on Thursday. They'll continue their road trip Friday against Northwest Christian in Eugene, Ore.