Monstars cruise in semifinal game
With 7:06 left in the game vs. the AOII Pandas, the Monstars scored two points to seal a mercy rule victory.
The Monstars, led by junior Christiane Soldo and junior Bekah Russell, took the early advantage leading by 13 at halftime. Their opponent couldn’t match up with the size of the Monstars team on offense or defense. The Monstars dominated throughout the second half as well, winning 43-12.
“Honestly, I think it was that they were bigger than us and they seemed like they may have more experience,” said sophomore AOII Panda Erica Strubhart. “Another thing is that I think we were just getting to that point in the season that we were just getting tired. We’ve been playing since January and now it’s March so I think we were just kind of getting worn down at this point.”
The sorority division was dominated by the AOII Pandas as they went undefeated during the regular season.
“We’re AOII, so it’s all about playing the sororities to us and we always like to be number one,” said sophomore Shelby Beloate, who scored half of the team’s points. “It was big for us to make it this far.”
Leading Monstar scorer, junior Bekah Russell, was active on both ends of the floor, coming up with three steals to go along with her 19 points.
“We don’t get a chance to play the sororities division, and I saw them play a game before and they looked really solid,” Russell said. “I thought they were a good team, but we came out with only five people and kept the pressure on them. Everyone gets in there and they rebound even if they are the shortest person out there.”
The most experienced player on either team was Christiane Soldo, a former Murray State women’s basketball player who put up 17 points and eight rebounds.
“I didn’t have enough time to do school work and play and be on the road and my grades were suffering,” Soldo said of her collegiate basketball career. “So I decided to quit and just get involved with school and extracurricular activities.”
After defeating the AOII Pandas, up next for the Monstars was the championship game against Hart College.
“I think we are very prepared for the final,” Russell said. “We haven’t played as many games as we would like– we’ve had to forfeit a couple of games– but every time we’ve come out we’ve played really hard and I think we are ready to go. We’re going to take it. We’re going all the way. We’re going to win and we are going to get that t-shirt, finally.”
According to IM Leagues, the Monstars were ready, taking home a 47-32 win to end the season and take home the title.
Story by Blake Bernier, Staff writer