The Bellevue College women’s basketball season has officially been commenced after the conclusion of a brief preseason. The Bulldogs have much to look forward to this season coming off yet another impressive run. As reigning NWAC North Region champs, the team produced a 10-2 record in conference to go along with a 22-9 overall record for the 2018-2019 seasons. This information should not be surprising considering that 13 consecutive winning seasons have been recorded, not to mention three additional region titles as well as ring. Current head coach Mel Stubblefield has enjoyed a share of this success in his first four seasons with the job. Coach Stubblefield was accredited with last year’s NWAC North Region Coach of the Year, recognizing his brilliant efforts. The program has developed a sense of pride and identity under the proven head coach which accounts for the consistency and excitement for the upcoming year. Coach Stubblefield affirmed this stating, “We won’t be satisfied until we have rings on our fingers. Simple as that. Our goal is an NWAC Title.” The team believes in their system and confidence it will produce another notable season.
However, all of this positivity and excitement does not mean these ladies will have an easy season by any means. The Bulldogs offense mainly featured sophomores last season who have since graduated and moved on to four year schools. Among these players, Bellevue College will especially miss sisters Melinda and Brenda Akoto. The two six-foot forwards provided dominant weapons that were used to attack the paint and score on the perimeter. According to the official NWAC website, Brenda reached the thousand point mark in her career as a Bulldog, an achievement only standout players who excel in both of their years at the school are able to obtain. These women exemplify the difficulties of attaining success at the NWAC level for such a long period of time, as junior college schools can only keep players for a maximum of two seasons in which they play. This creates significant pressure on the coaching staff to continuously recruit players who not only have on-the-court capabilities, but off-the-court contributions as well. Despite this adversity, the Bulldogs seemed poised for the upcoming season and look to take on Arizona Tohono O’odham CC on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Grays Harbor College.