Winter sports media day kicks off season

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Bright futures are on the horizon for Dixie State University’s winter athletics.

DSU hosted its annual Winter Sports Media Day Tuesday in the Community Education Channel’s studio on campus. The event highlighted men and women’s basketball, and women’s swimming. Men’s basketball and women’s swimming are off to impressive season starts, but women’s basketball has been struggling. 

After a rocky start in the preseason, head coach J.D. Gustin said the women’s basketball team is not making any excuses.

“We’re still in the process of figuring each other out,” Gustin said. “It has been overwhelming for me and [the team] as well.”

Gustin said once the team’s confidence goes up, the stats will too.

“There are eight new players, and it’s a whole new team and a whole new program,” said Ashley Burge, a junior business major from Riverton. “We’re still trying to find that balance.”

DSU women’s swimming is kicking off its first season ever. They will be competing against several Division I teams in the Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference this year.

Head coach Benjamin Rae said he believes the team will be successful and will start off their program in a great position.

“We had little over a year to prepare,” Rae said. “So the university gave us a good opportunity to be successful from the beginning.”

Women’s swimming will be competing in the Colorado Mesa Winter Invitational on Thursday, where they will face several teams they will meet in the RMAC.

DSU men’s basketball has had a share of the conference title in six of the last seven seasons, and the team is trying to start off conference play with some wins so they have a chance at the title again. After starting off the season 3-3, head coach Jon Judkins said the team is improving every week.

Men’s basketball has faced several injuries throughout the preseason, but Judkins is confident in his bench and is looking forward to another great season.

The men’s basketball team will start Pacific West Conference play against Concordia University on Saturday.

“Just looking back on last year, we did a really good job of always playing together,” said Brandon Simister, a junior biology major from St. George. “This year if we play together like we have been, we’ll have a good chance at the conference title.”