Penguins Ready for Some More MAC-tion

Chelsea Olson drives the net for the Penguins against Kent State University on Saturday. Photo by Brian Yauger/The Jambar

By Brian Yauger

Youngstown State University women’s basketball continues into its second week of play and will host Eastern Michigan University.

The first week of the season was filled with success for the Penguins. YSU rolled out a new lineup that performed well in its debut against Canisius College, winning 87-59.

“I thought some newcomers really stepped up and played well, and I thought some of our returners had some nice performances,” Penguins coach John Barnes said after the win. “The freshmen came in and played with no fear, which is what we need.”

Penguin guard Taylor Petit was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week. Photo by Brian Yauger/The Jambar

Petit is just excited to be back on the court.

“It feels great [to be back],” Petit said. “Sitting out, having injuries the last two or three years of my career, I’m going to go out every night and play as hard as I can. … I learned it sucks to sit out and not be in the game.”

Guard Chelsea Olson recorded the first triple-double for the Penguins since 1986 in the matchup against Canisius.

“[The triple-double] means a lot, but I just go out there and do whatever I can to help my team,” Olson said after the game. “I take pride in myself on being able to do a lot of different things to help my team win. So, in the importance of that, it means a lot.”

The Penguins looked to continue their success in the second game against Kent State University. 

Unfortunately, a cold streak in the fourth quarter doomed the team as it fell to 81-73 in overtime to the Golden Flashes.

“[We were] in a position to win the game,” Barnes said. “They did either a good job of taking it away from us or we did a good job of giving it to them.”

The game against Kent State was a test for the team, as it’s believed that the Golden Flashes can go far this season. Barnes said he thinks competing against them is a possible sign of what his team can achieve this season.

“Kent State is going to be one of the best teams in the MAC,” Barnes said. “A WNIT team for sure, if not an NCAA Tournament team. To be in that position to beat a really good team is encouraging.”

Up next for YSU is another Mid-American Conference team. Eastern Michigan comes to town and is expected to be another early season test.

The Penguins are working well as a team despite all the new faces, though it still poses a learning curve.

Chelsea Olson drives the net for the Penguins against Kent State University on Saturday. Photo by Brian Yauger/The Jambar

“With so many new kids, trying to get them all on the same page and finishing out plays and executing down the stretch is going to be a learning experience,” Barnes said.

The Penguins played Robert Morris University on the road during the time of publication. Afterward, they return home from the brief road trip to take on the Eagles.

Tipoff against Eastern Michigan is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Beeghly Center. The Penguins travel to the University of Akron to take on the Zips on Wednesday.