Despite injuries, Swedlund says team is ready


Sophomore guard Alexys Swedlund dribbles toward center court. 

Since the WSU women’s basketball team lost its three leading scorers indefinitely to injury, sophomore guard Alexys Swedlund has found herself thrust into the starting lineup. She has taken it in stride, with confidence in her team.

In the Cougars’ game against No. 18 Arizona State, WSU lost freshmen guards Cameron Fernandez and Chanelle Molina to injury mid-game. These incidents added to the absence of sophomore forwards Borislava Hristova and Louise Brown, who have been out indefinitely since early December due to broken feet.

Swedlund remains positive and is confident in her team’s ability to step up into their new roles on the court.

“Our mentality is to stay together right now,” Swedlund said. “We’ve been through a lot and have had a lot of unusual injuries happen to us this year, unexpected injuries. Right now, we need to stay strong as a team.”

Despite the absence of four fellow teammates, Swedlund said that her relationship with her teammates, both on and off the court, remains strong.

“We have the best team chemistry,” Swedlund said. “We can communicate well on and off court. They are like family to me and they are my sisters. I can rely on them, which is huge.”

Coming home to face No. 10 Stanford and California this weekend, Swedlund said the return to Pullman is a welcome sight.

“It’s always awesome to be around the Cougar family, especially playing at Beasley,” Swedlund said. “It’s feels good to be back in your own atmosphere. Having that support surround us when we’re playing at home is just huge, and it really carries us.”

With a large chunk of the season still left, Swedlund said that despite the team’s rash of injuries, they are still striving for the original goals they set at the beginning of the season and have not lost hope.

“To give this team what I got,” Swedlund said of her personal goals for the remainder of the season. “The biggest thing right now is that a lot of us (have) to step up in each of our roles. My goal by the end of this season is to step up and fill my role as well and do what my team needs me to do to win games.”

Swedlund said the Pac-12 is not an easy conference to compete in. With her team’s lack of aggression in recent games, Swedlund said she hopes her teammates gain confidence in their abilities and skills to improve their place in the conference standings.

The Pac-12 currently has five teams ranked in the AP top-25 with other receiving votes, proving that the conference is arguably the deepest in the country.

“Right now, we’re feeling bad for ourselves and we’re not responding like we should,” Swedlund said. “We’re going to really have to step that up if we want to win somAe more games in the Pac-12 Conference. Going into the Pac-12 is tough because every team deserves to be there. They’re really good because they’re the best teams in the nation so playing in the Pac-12 conference is about being able to step up your game.”

With a new mindset and high hopes, Swedlund and her teammates take on 10th-ranked Stanford at 8 p.m. on Friday night at Beasley Coliseum. They look to fully move past their recent injury-plagued performances and establish themselves in their enhanced roles as a Pac-12 opponent worthy of recognition in the second half of the season.