In a scrappy game in which her team never trailed, against an opponent that she — or the Flying Dutch — hadn't ever faced before, junior guard Victoria Swift was calm and unflappable, especially when as a nervous energy swirled around her in DeVos Fieldhouse in the first half.
But Swift's calm level-headedness — and her eight points in nine minutes of first-half play — provided the chill needed to put the fourth-ranked Hope women's basketball team on its way to a dominant and gritty 75-50 win over Cornell College (Iowa) in the first round of NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship game on Friday night.
Hope, 27-1, moves onto play Washington University in St. Louis — a 75-57 first-game winners over Wheaton (Ill.) College — in the second round tomorrow at 7:00 pm in DeVos. The Bears are 19-7 on the season.
"I think what Vic brought to the table tonight was this sense of calm," said head coach Brian Morehouse of Swift, pictured. "Vic doesn't get sped up… She just has this calming influence and because she has so much confidence and calm, when the game is going at a frenzied pace, which it was in the first half for a lot of the time, she just slows the game down."
Explained Swift of her calm demeanor and play, "There's a lot of confidence that comes from knowing my coaches support me, from knowing my teammates support me, and honestly, I believe in this team so much that I don't get scared or nervous. Because I know, give us 40 minutes and we got this."