“We’re just gonna trust the process.”
That’s reality for this new-look U.S. women’s team according to Abby Dunkin, coming after the team's final game of the U.S. Women’s International Friendlies in June. Even after a shaky start, the team began to find their groove as they played more and more throughout the week.
They’ll look to build on that chemistry and continue the growing process as they travel to the Netherlands for the 2018 Dutch Battle from August 1-5.
The U.S. women will face national teams from the Netherlands and Great Britain, who will each use these games as preparation for the IWBF World Championships in August in Hamburg, Germany.
The U.S. and Great Britain are in the same pool for the World Championships, so their matchups this week will serve as a preview of what we may see in Germany. The Dutch team played against both the U.S. (in the U.S. Friendlies) and Great Britain (in the Continental Clash) during exhibitions earlier this summer, going undefeated against both teams.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Rose Hollermann established herself as the do-it-all offensive anchor during the U.S. Friendlies, but defenses will also have an eye on Abby Dunkin and Morgan Wood. The “Texas Big 3” from the University of Texas at Arlington won the 2018 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament and have an infectious chemistry when they're on the court.
Lindsey Zurbrugg, one of the many new additions to the team, is a deadly shooter who has the ability to wipe away deficits or turn a decent lead into a blowout from the 3-point line.
The Dutch sport arguably the best duo in the world with the bruiser Mariska Beijer and sweet-shooting Bo Kramer, and their versatility allows them to play fast or slow with opponents. The inside-outside balance keeps defenses on edge, and they’re more than capable of holding their own on defense.
Coach Gertjan van der Linden’s formidable defensive scheme and grinding offensive style wears teams down. Van der Linden is a wizard; his halftime adjustments often open up double digits leads in the third quarter.
Amy Conroy is the team’s most consistent scorer, with a unique blend of length and speed that allows her to carve up defenses. Conroy is one of a handful of the team veterans playing in their third World Championships.
Nineteen-year-old Joy Haizelden is a rising star for the British team and a hustle player who fills out the stat sheet with points, rebounds, and assists. Even on a team loaded with veterans, Haizelden shines with her uber-competitive energy on the floor.
The exhibitions open up Wednesday, August 1, with the United States tipping off against Great Britain at 6:30 a.m. EST. Each team plays each other twice throughout the battle, with morning matches starting at 6:30 am, noon matches at 12 pm, and “late” matches at 2:30 PM (all times EST). COMPLETE SCHEDULE
Fans can stream the games from the Basketball Experience NL (Netherlands) Youtube channel and Facebook. Links will appear day-by-day on our social feeds.
The IWBF World Championships are set for Hamburg, Germany, August 16-26, at the Edel-Optics Arena. The tournament feature 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.