Vikings not shaken by conference loss

DVC’s women’s basketball team lost its third Big 8 conference game to Santa Rosa on Friday to drop their conference record to 5-3. 

Usually a conference loss would be reason to get down on a team, but not this year, when the Vikings are enjoying their best season in more than five years. 

With the five conference wins so far, DVC has already bested the conference win totals of the past five seasons. 

Sophomore guard, Ashley Hudson, has been a major factor for the Vikings, leading the team in scoring with 22.4 points per game, while also pitching in 8.2 rebounds per game. 

“The maturity of our returning players and their improvement in the off season has really helped us,” head coach Maureen Mattson said.

In particular, she cited Vanassa Johnson, Janae Patolo and Hudson, who was an honorable mention Big 8 player from last year. 

Hudson, along with freshman point guard Jenny Kawakami form the highest scoring backcourt in the conference, currently ranked first and second in scoring respectively. 

Kawakami leads the team with 10.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game and trails only Hudson with 16.6 points per game. 

“Jenny is a great floor leader,” Mattson said. “[She] has great court awareness and sets the tempo for our team.” 

The team’s hard work during the offseason has really paid off, Mattson said, adding, “The dedication to each other and our camaraderie during this time has led us to where we are right now.” 

Focusing more on defense and conditioning this year also, has aided the Vikings, as seen in games versus San Joaquin Delta and Sierra where DVC held them under their scoring averages. 

“We are very confident in ourselves and expect to win every game by doing what we know how to do on the court,” Kawakami said. “There is no limit to our success as long as we stay healthy and keep our eyes on our goals.”

The Vikings aren’t yet satisfied with their season however and have an eye on the home stretch of the season and the upcoming state playoffs. 

“We haven’t gotten a lot of respect from other coaches and are not ranked in the coaches’ poll,” Mattson said. “This just makes our team more determined than ever to keep striving for wins.” 

Currently DVC sits at third in the ultra competitive Big 8 conference, behind powerhouses Delta and Santa Rosa. 

With six games remaining, including one against Delta, the Vikings have a tough set of games ahead. 

DVC travels to Sierra on Tuesday before hosting Modesto on Friday. The Vikings will then head to Stockton for their much anticipated game against Delta on Feb. 9. 

“We need to focus on one game at a time and try to finish as high as possible in the Big 8,” Mattson said.


Contact Curtis Uemura at [email protected]