The New Mexico State women's basketball team does not play like a team that has won just three games against Division I competition nor do seniors Tabytha Wampler and Kaitlyn Soto play like a pair of players just riding out their final playing days. With a new coaching staff, the transition hasn't always been smooth this season but the Aggies continued to play hard even as losses continued to pile up in the non-conference portion of the schedule. A one-point season opening victory over Houston gave way to a string of eight consecutive losses. They came in all forms, some by minuscule margins, some by large margins, some at the buzzer, some in overtime and some that were historically bad. But through it all, the Aggies continued to play hard and hold their heads up high and much of that credit is due to their head coach Mark Trakh and his stay-positive attitude with the group but a great deal of the credit lies on the shoulders of the four seniors and in particular Wampler and Soto.
"I didn't expect coming in the positivity that comes with Coach Trakh," said Soto who has taken over the role of starting point guard. "I think it's somewhat refreshing, especially for us older kids. Even though we're making a lot of mistakes he's very patient and I think we all really appreciate that."
While the team struggled early on offensively to adapt to the new system it was senior forward Tabytha Wampler who was a steady force for the Aggies posting seven double-doubles, matching her entire total from the 2010-11 season, and several near double-doubles all the while battling the foul trouble that has seemingly plagued her entire career. Despite an apparent need to carry the scoring load while her teammates found their way in the new system, Wampler said she felt no pressure to carry the team. "No pressure, no pressure. It's easy when you have really good teammates and excellent coaches so [there was] no pressure," said Wampler. "You still get nervous before every game, you still want to perform well but when you have your coaches and your teammates supporting you, and I support them, we all support each other." Continue Reading This Post >>