Penn Girls Basketball Begins Season

The buzzer sounds in the Valparaiso High School gym, and in the matter of a few minutes, the season for the Penn Girls Basketball team ends one game short of playing for a State Championship.

The 2018 PGBB team attends a volleyball game together.

Ending the season in such a disappointing way, Coach Kristi Ulrich used this as motivation for the upcoming season. When asked about how this is going to motivate her team this year she stated, “The girls are extremely, extremely hungry, and they can’t wait to get back on the court.”

The program just lost three seniors who all contributed to the success of their team last season. “Sara (Doi) was a primary ball handler, Tia (Chambers) was a beast in the paint, and Victoria (Smith) was a great leader and a real hard-worker,” Ulrich said about last years seniors. These three players being gone gives the Penn Lady Kingsmen big shoes to fill, but Coach Ulrich is confident in her young team saying, “We’ve had girls that have worked hard in the off-season and improved their game that are able to slide in and fill these voids from losing them to graduation last year.”

Sophomore, Jordyn Smith, goes up for a shot last season in Sectionals.

The run to Semi-State last year gave the younger players a taste of what it would take to get to Indianapolis and play for a state championship. Having such a young team may pose difficulties for the team, but the Lady Kingsmen are thriving and are focusing on the upcoming season. Confident in her younger team, Coach Ulrich said, “We’ve set some lofty goals for this season, not us as coaches, but the girls have set these goals and they are  working extremely hard day in, and day out to reach those goals as we go through this season.”

The Penn Lady Kingsmen Basketball team kicks off their season, Thursday, November 1st in LaPorte against the Slicers with tip-off at 8:00 pm.