The Pioneers concluded their 2022-2023 season with a trip to the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament and recorded the most victories and fewest losses in program history. A total of 26 wins, 21 being consecutive wins and only six losses. The Pioneers also won the Lone Star Conference regular season title along with the East Division title for the first time in program history.
Coach Beth Jillson was named the LSC Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Secretary Ashley Ingram was awarded the 2023 WBCA NCAA Division II Coaches’ All-American honorable mention. It is the first time in 32 years that Texas Woman’s University has had an athlete win the award.
“It was crazy because it’s such a big award for basketball and all throughout the season our whole team was working hard,” Ingram said. “I feel like that’s what really helped me get that award is that I was always challenged.”
The bond of the team is what set this season apart from the rest, according to Ingram.
“We always came in like we had business to do during practice,” Ingram said. “I also think about the relationships we had with each other, because in basketball you have to be able to trust each other on the court.”
Last weekend the TWU Gymnastics team competed at the Midwest Independent Conference Championships in Missouri. Finishing in fourth, the Pioneers had an overall score of 194.900. The Pioneers secured season highs of 49.075 on both beam and floor.
“It’s really great to get over a 49 on a single event, and we did that on beam and floor,” SAAC Service Chair and gymnast Kyla Podges said.
TWU had four gymnasts finish in the top three for their event. On beam, Alix Pierce tied for second place with a score of 9.875 while Madeline Gose and Steelie King ended in a four-way tie for third place. Daisy Woodring placed second on the floor with a 9.900.
The first-place score of 196.375 was less than 1.5 points more than the Pioneer’s score.
“The scores were very close,” Podges said, “but they’re made out of minute details that we can fix within these next couple of weeks.”
The USAG Women’s Collegiate National Championships will be hosted here at TWU on April 6-8.
“I believe that we have all of the potential in the world to win nationals,” Podges said. “This is a great opportunity to get back out there in front of our fans and just do what we know how to do.”
The TWU STUNT team fought hard in their back-to-back games on March 19. The Pioneers fell in their rematch to St. Mary’s 12-7 and won over UT Tyler 17-8.
“We had beaten them before we were ready to put in the work to beat them again,” SAAC President and STUNT member Laurel Jones said. “We came together as a team to hype ourselves back up before the game and then we put everything on the mat and took the win.”
With only one previous season, STUNT continues to overcome adversity. “Being a second-year team, we have definitely had to overcome a lot of trials and tribulations,” Jones said. “Seeing everyone, from the rookies to the vets, putting in 100 percent day in and day out of practices and during games has been super amazing to watch.”
Now 5-6, the STUNT team hopes to finish their season victorious against Drury, Missouri Baptist, and Maryville University on March 25 and 26.
“We definitely have put in the work to be able to accomplish our goals of beating the teams this weekend,” Jones said. “I think we are all super excited and ready to finish off the season on a positive note.”
Hannah Everett can be reached via email at email@example.com.