Women’s basketball looks to finish season strong


Photo Courtesy of icgaels.com

Camilion has led the Gaels in scoring for the past two seasons.  

Lachlan Wellington, Staff Writer

The Iona College women’s basketball team’s record fell to 4-9 and 2-6 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play after a difficult loss to St. Peter’s on Jan. 22.  

The Gaels have struggled for consistency and were not helped after four fixtures were postponed in a row from Dec. 1 to Dec. 12 because of COVID-19.  

After starting the season 2-0, the Gaels then played three more non-conference games before four games of cancellations. They lost all three against non-conference opponents Massachusetts, Stony Brook and Bucknell.  

Iona began MAAC play with a 55-64 home defeat to Monmouth on Dec. 18, at the Hynes Arena in New Rochelle.  

The Gaels then lost their next four games to Marist, Fairfield, Siena and Manhattan, all of which were MAAC opponents.  

The team broke out of their eight-game skid with a 52-47 home victory over Quinnipiac in New Rochelle. This was also the Gaels’ first MAAC victory of the season.  

Junior Juana Camilion and graduate student Olivia Vezaldenos co-starred as the team’s leading scorers against Quinnipiac with 14 apiece, while junior Ketsia Athias managed 12. Athias also led the Gaels in rebounds with 10.  

Camilion brought the defensive pressure as she also managed three steals and a block in the victory.  

The Gaels then beat Marist 49-41 at the Hynes Arena. Camilion again top scored for the Gaels with 15, while Olivia Vezaldenos and Judith Gomez both scored 11 points.  

Ketsia Athias made another valuable contribution for the Gaels, scoring eight, dropping four assists and getting 10 rebounds in the victory. Camilion also backed up her scoring with four assists and nine rebounds.  

Iona came up short in their most recent game at the hands of Saint Peter’s by a score of 53-54 at the Yanitelli Center in New Jersey. Juana Camilion and Isabelle Lipsinki led the way for the Gaels scoring 18 and 15 respectively, but it was not enough to make up for St. Peter’s 13-2 run late in the second half.  

Next up for the Gaels is against MAAC rivals Manhattan in New Rochelle, before a trip to New Jersey to face Rider.  

Junior Camilion has been a standout performer so far for the Gaels this season. Camilion leads the team for minutes with 33 a game and also leads the team in scoring averaging 12.5 points a game, assists with 39 for the season and steals with 27.  

Ketsia Athias and Olivia Vezaldenos have also been key performers for the Gaels, Athias averages a team-leading six rebounds per game and 10.5 points per game, while Vezaldenos has contributed 8.7 points a game.  

Iona’s bench has also been important this season with 13 different players having played in the Gaels rotation so far this season and will continue to be important for the rest of the season as the Gaels look to improve their MAAC record.  

The Gaels have 12 remaining regular season contests before the MAAC Tournament opening round. They will need to play their best ball of the season down the stretch if they want a chance at representing the Maroon and Gold at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this spring.  

The Gaels currently sit 10th in the MAAC standings, but they will be hoping to improve their record and get a good seed for the MAAC Tournament which begins with the opening round on March 8 with the Championship game being held on March 12.