The Pierce women’s basketball team hosted Oxnard College in its second home game of the season. Pierce guard Nichelae Henderson goes up for a three point shot in the second half of the game. It banks off of the rim and goes in the basket.
It felt wrong to see the home team score a basket and not hear the gym erupt with applause. With an audience of six people and a score deficit from the home team of over 15 points, it is hard to expect a different response.
The women’s basketball team has not seen much success over the past few years. The team has a record of 21-38 through the last five seasons. The basketball team is not the only team with a losing record. The women’s water polo team has gone 2-14 the past two seasons. Softball is starting next semester and they are coming off its most winning season in six years going 3-21. The past six years the softball team has gone 6-104 in conference games.
Why does Pierce allow losing sports programs to continue? There is low attendance to the games which I assume majorly consists of family members. Referees need to be paid for every game and more expenses come from opening up the South Gym for games on days where there is no school. All this money adds up and could be used to fund a team that is not present on the Pierce campus, such as men’s soccer.
The women’s basketball team has eight players on its roster. A women’s coach of another team said that the women’s basketball team tried to recruit girls from his team after their season ended. If there is not a demanding interest in the sport to put together a larger roster, it might be possible to close this program without many people noticing it is gone.
The chair of the athletics department Bob Lofrano said the reason why these teams still exist at Pierce is because they are staple sports. He said the reason community college athletics exist is to give students an opportunity to play a sport in college and have a growing experience through it. It is not about winning and losing at this level of the game but it should be to some extent.
If Pierce is planning on keeping these sports around, there should be an urgency to improve these teams. The head coach of the women’s basketball team James Couch needs to put it upon himself to recruit players that can put the team in a position to win. The softball head coach Kelly Moore needs to recruit players who can put them in a position to win. And water polo head coach Moriah Van Norman needs to recruit players who can put them in a position to win.
I understand that there is more to community college athletics than winning, but why can’t Pierce be a little greedy and want it all. I want to walk into a women’s basketball game and not be able to hear my own thoughts. These teams can be good again, they just need to put in a little more effort off the court.