Christian Rodriguez, Assistant Sports Editor
The Utica College women’s basketball team is 3-3 after six games and is looking to improve on a 7-18 record from last season. With the goal of improving in sight, senior Alaina Tripp is one of many contributing to the team’s success on both ends of the court.
Tripp is a graduate of Clyde-Savannah High School and has been playing basketball since the second grade. She chose UC because of its psychology-child life studies program and knew she would be able to play basketball.
“I just got that feeling that it was the place for me,” Tripp said.
During her off-season, Tripp made it a priority to work out every day and was determined to be a better jump shooter this season.
“I played pick up when I could,” Tripp said. “I also got in the gym a few times for a week to work on my shot.”
Tripp says she hopes to have a winning season in her senior campaign and is aiming to help her team get to the Empire 8 conference tournament. She believes she will bring a leadership attitude to this year’s team.
“Personally, I want to be a leader on the court,” Tripp said. “I really want to be someone my teammates can look to for encouragement.”
Tripp’s mindset this season is “to work extremely hard” and help guide her team to success in anyway she can.
“I would like to end on a good note,” Tripp said. “I would like to have zero regrets at the end of the season.”
Fellow post player and classmate Maggie Tabone loves having Tripp as a teammate.
“Alaina is one of my favorite teammates to play with,” Tabone said. “She is unselfish and she works hard. She’s always there to pick us up if we aren’t playing well.”
Tabone says Tripp also loves teaching the game. Her leadership helps teammates learn, and they see how she is working this season
“I love watching her bust her butt on the court,” Tabone said. “She has been an offensive threat and a defensive asset to our team. Her senior leadership is so helpful as well.”
Senior guard Emily Pinckney knows how hard Tripp has worked during the offseason and is proud of the outcome.
“It definitely has paid off because she has had a strong start to the season,” Pinckney said.
Pinckney added without Tripp’s constant encouragement “things wouldn’t be the same.” According to the senior guard, Tripp is one of the hardest workers on the team.
“Everyone can agree she works her butt off in practice and in games,” Pinckney said.
Pinckney says she is proud to call Tripp her teammate and one of her best friends.
Tripp has improved her game from last season. She is averaging eight points per game, a team best 7.2 rebounds per game and 1.3 steals per game after averaging 5.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season. Tripp had a career high of 20 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Wells College this season.
Tripp and the Pioneers lace up again as they travel to take on crosstown rival SUNY Polytechnic this Saturday with game time set for 2 p.m.