Chadd Has Offense to Go With Defense

Nov. 20, 2006

Story and Photo by Brandon Hansen

 

While she may have been the Big Sky Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year last season, senior guard Joanna Chadd also has some offensive chops.

 

She showed her offensive prowess to the tune of 24 points, on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the three-point arc and 9-of-14 shooting overall in EWU's 96-57 victory over Corban College on Nov. 17.

 

"I really felt like I had to step up and that was the time," said Chadd.

 

And on a roster that features only Chadd and Leah Gonnella as its lone seniors, she'll probably be asked to step up on more occasions. With a 3-0 start heading into a Nov. 21 showdown with nationally-ranked Washington, the Eagles are off to their best start in 22 years.

 

"I think our coaches haven given us more rein to be leaders," said Chadd. "The challenges are really good."

 

Coming from Philomath, Ore., Chadd was home-schooled until seventh grade when she transferred to a public school. It was then she realized that she wanted to be an NCAA Division I basketball player.

"I always wanted to be a Division I basketball player," said Chadd. "I love everything about it, down to the squeak of the shoes."

As a freshman at Philomath High School, she made the varsity squad that won the 3A Oregon State Tournament. She would be back to that tournament repeatedly over the course of her high school career, as she also earned second team all-tournament honors in both her junior and senior years. She also received a spot on the first team All-State squad her senior year.

However, once her prep career was over, she contemplated going to a junior college and transferring to a Division I school. But then EWU gave her a chance.

"They called me up and said that they had an opening for me, and they really wanted me to come out," said Chadd. "The team was really awesome; I was able to have fun with them and connect with different players."

Already this season, the 5-foot-8 guard is averaging 13 points per game, including that offensive showcase against Corban College. It appears that she has been able to step into that leadership role for the Eagles.

"All of us are leaders from one day to the next," she said. "You have to be there for your teammates and find ways to encourage them."

She also has plenty of praise for the coaching staff of the EWU women's basketball team.

"They've been really encouraging and uplifting," said Chadd. "Their expectations are where they need to be."

So what is head coach Wendy Schuller expecting from Chadd and the Eagles this season?

"To get better every game and to work out hardest," said Chadd. "If we work our butts off, come postseason we're going to be one tough team to beat."

At 3-0, the Eagles are already off to their best start in 22 years. They'll be put to the test this Tuesday against the nationally-ranked Washington Huskies in Reese Court at 5:30 p.m. Washington will be making its first visit to Cheney in 16 years.

The up-beat fast tempo offense that put up 96 points against Corban College will have to take advantage of a Huskies squad that's giving up 83 points per game.

"We're trying to do more fast-paced stuff -- we're trying to full-court press and then get out and run," said Chadd. "It should be fun stuff to watch."

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