By Peter Gibbs
The Title IX Tip-Off was more than just a game for the Riverside City College women’s basketball team.
“The pioneers that laid down the foundation for me to have this opportunity is very important. I love the conversation that has now started at the college about Title IX,” Head coach Alicia Berber said. “It really means a lot to our players because it means the conversation is around about supporting women’s sports and men’s sports. We want equity for all our athletes.”
Alicia Berber started off her 22nd season of coaching with a 10 point victory over Napa Valley College.
“There was a lot of hard work from these young ladies that can really make adjustments as we go through the game,” Berber said. “I have a lot of kids with a high basketball IQ which makes my job easy.”
The Tigers were unable to pull away from Napa Valley in the first half. In the second half was where the team made multiple changes in strategy and built a lead before holding off a comeback from the Storm.
“They made a good adjustment against our zone defense,” Berber said. “When they (Napa Valley) were holding our shorts, I said ‘Let’s attack them again’ and that sealed the deal.”
Starting sophomore guard Shanon Jordan was a key part of the defense for the Tigers as well as the offense as she led the team in points with 11.
“I was focusing on being patient and relaxed,” Jordan said. “I was a freshman last year and I was really nervous and tense. This year I know what to do.”
RCC was able to take control of the second half due to multiple offensive rebounds and turnovers. However, there was a scare in the third quarter when freshman guard Makayla Roberts suffered an injury.
“One of the girls ran into my knee and I heard it pop,” Roberts said. “It was sore for a bit but I was able to walk it off.”
After returning from her injury, Roberts filled up the stat sheet as she finished the game with six assists, eight rebounds and five steals while playing 35 minutes.
“The coaches say that everything starts with defense and your energy,” Roberts said. “My main goal is to get out on defense and give it my 100%. The offense will come on the other end where I can get my teammates involved.”
The second half saw improvements from all aspects of the game which propelled the Tigers to a 63-53 victory.
After a disappointing end to last season where the Tigers fell short of the playoffs, the team is excited about what the new year has in store.
“We expect to dominate, not just win but with a lead,” Roberts said. “We want to be giving it 100% and not half-doing it.”
Next up for the Tigers is the second day of the Title IX Tip-Off against East Los Angeles on Nov. 5.