Q & A With Whitny Edwards
Whitny Edwards recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to preview the 20th-ranked women’s basketball team’s contest vs. NC State on Wednesday night. Tip-off from John Paul Jones Arena is 7 p.m., as the squad looks to win its fourth-consecutive game.
Question: The team is on a three-game win streak vs. Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, how does it feel to be on a roll?
Edwards: Our focus in practice has changed dramatically over the last few weeks. After our loss against Maryland (61-60 on Jan. 11), we came back with a new focus. We were determined to get better on defense and get stops when we needed them at the end of games. We’ve also been really trying to finish games out better.
Question: In the team’s last outing vs. Georgia Tech, a 57-55 win, you had nine points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Lexie Gerson, who has started the last three games at guard, added 10 points. In addition to Monica Wright, who is known for her offense, what has helped your team become more balanced in terms of scoring?
Edwards: Coach Ryan has given the rest of us confidence to take good shots when we’re open. We all know that we need help Monica offensively and on the boards, and we’re trying to do our part to attack and take good shots.
Question: What can you tell us about the team’s preparation for NC State?
Edwards: We know they are a really good team and they have improved a lot over the last year. Most of us watched them play against North Carolina on Monday night (UNC won, 81-69) and they performed really well. And really that was a game that they could have won right up until the end. They had a great effort and we know that coming into this game it will be a war. We will be focused and dedicated to the scouting report.
Question: You mentioned the team watching the NC State-North Carolina game together. Your team has won its last two games by a combined four points, and there have been several upsets throughout the league already this season. What can you say about the competitiveness of the ACC?
Edwards: Right now it’s pretty much anybody’s game. We started out 0-2 in conference play, but have come back to win our last three games. Which has put us back in the mix. We just know that we need to get as many wins as we can to stay in the top four and receive a good seed to the ACC Tournament.
Question: Your fraternal twin sister, Britny, set new career-highs in points and rebounds vs. Georgia Tech on Sunday. How does it make you feel to see her perform so well in front of the home crowd?
Edwards: I was so proud of Britny’s performance against Georgia Tech. I know how hard she’s been working over the last couple of weeks in practice. I really believe that she deserved a chance, and she got it during our last game. I think Coach Ryan has always had confidence in Britny, but now she’s seen that Britny can make big plays in a tough game. I’m really proud and I hope it continues!