Women's Basketball Takes Their Best Shot

by Zach Epstein
Katie Lytle '14
Guard Katie Lytle '14 leads the Garnet in scoring and rebounding as they head into this weekend's playoff game against Muhlenberg College.

Update, Mon., Mar. 2: Led by senior Madeline Ross' 22 points, the No. 2 seed Swarthmore College women's basketball team (23-7) defeated top-seeded Moravian College (22-7) 67-62 on Sunday afternoon to be crowned the ECAC Division III South Champions. This is Swarthmore's first ECAC title and just its second time in the championship game. more

Update, Tues., Feb. 26: The Swarthmore College women's basketball (20-7) earned a bid into the 2013 ECAC South Region Championship as the No. 2 seed and will host No. 7 Marywood (15-12) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. from Tarble Pavilion, the organization announced on Monday. The Garnet extends its season with its first appearance in the ECAC Championship since the 2002-03 season. Swarthmore looks to redeem momentum after a heartbreaking loss to Gettysburg in the Centennial Conference title game. more

In addition, Katie Lytle and Elle Larsen received All-Centennial Conference accolades, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday. Lytle was named Player of the Year and a First Team selection, while Larsen was named to the Second Team. more
--------------------

Update, Fri., Feb. 22: Finishing on a 12-0 run, the No. 2 Swarthmore College women's basketball team advance to the Centennial Conference Championship game after an 62-56 victory over No. 3 Muhlenberg College on Friday night. The Garnet will face the tournament host No. 1 Gettysburg College Saturday night at 7 p.m. more
---------------------

The Swarthmore women's basketball team, playing in the Centennial Conference playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign, is looking to continue their best season in nearly a decade. After putting together a 19-6 record (15-5 in conference), the Garnet will enter Friday's playoff game against Muhlenberg as the No. 2 seed. The action tips off at 8 p.m., and a victory would mean advancing to the Centennial Conference championship game on Saturday.  Gettysburg College will host both games as the No. 1 seed, after finishing with a 16-4 Centennial record.

Swarthmore has been able to build on the momentum of a 7-0 record to start the season, which included a one-point victory over Gettysburg in December. While Coach Renee DeVarney's squad has received key contributions up and down the roster, the Garnet have been paced by guard Katie Lytle '14, the Centennial Conference's leading rebounder (12.2 rebounds per game) and third-leading scorer (15 points per game). The mathematics major and Harrisburg, Pa., native was profiled in her hometown Patriot-News, telling the paper that a new workout regimen is partly responsible for her stellar play.

Elle_Larsen
Forward Elle Larsen '15 is Swarthmore's second leading scorer and rebounder.

"Over the summer I tried to get in really good shape by running long distances because I wanted to increase my endurance," Lytle said. "I also focused on eating better and losing some weight. Because of that, I'm in the best shape of my life and fatigue isn't an issue. I'm playing at my absolute best."

Elle Larsen '15, averaging 13 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game, has also been a crucial force for the Garnet.  "It's been amazing," Larsen told CBS Philly.  "I don't have really words to describe how much fun we're having. But it's been a dream season and I can't wait to continue what we've got going here."

DeVarney is in her eighth season at the helm and is aided by assistant coaches Michele McCaughern, Jen Hilgenberg, and Lindsey Isler. Those unable to make the trip to Gettysburg to see Swarthmore in person can watch all of this weekend's matchups online.  Swarthmore is currently ranked 4th in the NCAA's Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings and is looking to capture its first Centennial Conference championship since 2001.