Girls Varsity Basketball: Setting the Standard

By: Riya Kapoor and Anusha Srivastiva

Riya Kapoor and Anusha Srivastiva


With a 12-2 record this year, LFA’s Varsity Girls Basketball Team was beyond successful this season. While from the outside, the team coordinated these wins effortlessly, the hours of hard work that went on behind the scenes is not to be overlooked.   A sport is about teamwork just as much as it is about physical work. Team bonding builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and supports collaboration. In an interview, Varsity Girls co-head coach, Tanika Golota talked about the chemistry of the team. 

“This group has a really great core, they hold each other accountable for their mistakes, but at the same time support and cheer one another, which is the key to success,” said Golota. 

In every good season, there are many moments that challenge the team’s abilities. One of those difficulties can be going into games blind to the other team’s abilities.

 When asked about the most challenging game played, Golota replied, “I would say Lake Forest High School because those were our two losses but we knew what we were getting into with them. Instead, our hardest game in my opinion was against Home Run Kids.” Sometimes, the hardest part of the game is not the actual game, it’s the prep before. “This team did not have any film, so we were blinded going into the game, the team also changes every year, so we could not predict what we would be facing,” explained Golota. 

Leadership has proven to be a pig part in athletics. A key part of any team are the captains. Mariana Quiroz ‘22 and Tatum Young ‘23. Both captains carried the team to a victory against the Latin School of Chicago for the first time in years. 

“The win felt amazing. It was a huge accomplishment to beat them, especially since it was the first time in so many years. It really set the tone for the season,” said Young. 

Even in the face of the pandemic, the team has been able to keep this strong foundation. Under the pressure of COVID-19, where there were fewer games and practices, the team wasn’t deterred from working hard and connecting as a group. As Quiroz described it, “I feel like the team has evolved over the four years I’ve been here, with people coming and going, but I think that this year the team has probably been the closest.”

Not only has the pandemic posed challenges, but rebuilding the program forces many to deal with adjustments. One key contributor to the success of the rebuild was finding a good coach. As mentioned by Alexis VenechanosAssociate Athletic Director, “We want our coaches to relate well to the students as well as be well know the sport at an advanced level.” It is never easy to adjust to a new coach’s system, but it is clear from the team’s success that the girls were able to find comfort and coherence in the new coaches’ orbit.

In the face of adversity, the girl’s basketball team completed a successful season and deserves recognition. As Quiroz put it best, “We were determined to win and come out strong.

Infographic courtesy of David Atas

We are a balanced team that knows how to play into our strengths. This whole journey has been a great experience and I’m just so happy I got to play over the years.”