By JENNIFER GROSKREUTZ
Lokmotiv Bratislava. It’s not the name of a new peace treaty. It’s not the name of an international airport either. It’s the name of a women’s basketball team from Slovakia.
The BYU women’s basketball team opens its season in an exhibition game against Bratislava at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Head coach Trent Shippen said this game will give BYU a chance to see where its at, especially because the Cougars don’t know much about the Slovakian team.
“We don’t know a lot about them,” he said. “We know their age, weight and height.”
The players range in age from 16 to 24 years old, encompassing younger and older players than those found on BYU’s team.
Shippen said he hasn’t seen any file footage of the team, so he hasn’t had a chance to watch Bratislava play. He said he knows teams like Slovakia’s usually play well on the floor.
“Their inside players are good outside shooters,” he said.
Even though this game is an exhibition, sophomore point guard Stacy Jensen said everyone will treat it as if it was a MWC tournament game.
“We’re going to go into every game with the desire to win,” she said.
Jensen is the team’s new starting point guard. She said she isn’t nervous about moving into the spotlight, left vacant by last year’s guard Amanda Covington, because she has had lots of experience.
“I’m really comfortable about being one of the leaders on the floor,” she said.
As a freshman last season, she started in 11 games and had 70 assists along with 35 steals.
The Cougars are also excited to try out a new offense, called true motion, in this exhibition game.
“Lots of teams don’t run it because it’s hard,” said senior guard Jill Adams. “It involves lots of reads.”
Adams said the team has been practicing to get their timing down.
“That’s what the first few pre-season games are for,” she said.
Lokmotiv Bratislava challenges Utah on Thursday and Weber on Friday, before facing BYU in Saturday night’s game.