Tetrault, Boucher hone team leadership skills

PLAYERS ENTHUSIASTICALLY CHEER on their teammates before the start of the game in the spirit of sportsmanship. (file photo)

To new team leaders seniors Bailei Tetrault and Ellen Boucher of the Rensselaer women’s basketball team, basketball means a lot more than the score on the board.

“Since basketball is a team sport, commitment and trust in your teammates is essential to having success on the court,” said Boucher.

“When we show up to games and practices we expect that everyone will bring effort and intensity because the team is only as strong as the weakest player. While you’re a member of the team, you’re a member of the family we create.”

“During my time playing basketball at RPI over the years, upperclassmen have taught me the meaning of leadership,” said Tetrault. “They’ve demonstrated the qualities and characteristics in what makes a great leader. So now that I am captain, I’ve tried my best to delineate those same traits to the underclassmen.”

Since Winter Break began, their team has suffered in the points, falling in six of the eight games held over the recess, but what Tetrault and Boucher spoke most proudly of wasn’t the score; it was the growth they experience as a team while fighting from game to game that makes the sport worthwhile for them.

“Playing a collegiate sport provides you with an unparalleled college experience,” said Boucher. “A typical day in season includes a commitment of at least three hours training, practicing or playing [and] travel many weekends… This has allowed me to gain important time management and organization skills. I have also developed as a leader by learning from older players as an underclassmen and now applying those skills to lead the team myself as a captain, which is an honor I am privileged to maintain. The heart and dedication of collegiate athletes is astounding, helping me to mature both as a player and person.”

In what was one of the closest games of the season on Friday, the Engineers scored 51 points to St. Lawrence’s 52. Sophomore Shainta Iton sent the ball soaring eighteen times during the game, earning RPI 20 points with 10 baskets. Iton also managed eight rebounds. Senior Ashley Clough and freshman Sam Krumbhaar each added nine more points and freshman LaKissa Martin contributed six.

On Saturday, the Engineers journeyed to Skidmore College, where they played against the Thoroughbreds in a heated game. Although three Rensselaer women scored over ten points that night, their efforts were matched by Kelley Donnelly of Skidmore, who earned an impressive 33 points. With a 77-66 loss, the score was close for most of the game, only moving in favor of Skidmore in the fourth quarter.

“We are a young team but have a lot of talent,” said Tetrault.