Profile: Tremba to continue to triumph in senior season

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November 14, 2016

5:17 PM

After three years topping William and Mary women’s basketball’s scoring and leading the team’s offense, senior guard Marlena Tremba and her squad appear ready to reach new heights after improving steadily since the 2013-14 season.

When she was last seen in action, Tremba dropped 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the 2015-16 Colonial Athletic Association Championship quarterfinal loss to Towson. With a total of 417 points last year — an average of 13.9 per game — Tremba is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Working on her shot and defensive play in the offseason and preseason, Tremba is one of few deep threats, holding a career 33 percent three-point rate that ranks in the top 10 in program history.

With strong performances throughout her career, Tremba spoke on how she focuses on different goals each year to elevate her game.

“I think each year I’ve shot the ball a little better percentage-wise and I try to play better defense every year or work on something specific,” Tremba said. “One year I tried to work on my mid-range jump shot because I was a three-point shooter, and then I also tried being a better passer last year, too. I think I saw my assists also increase.”

Her assists did increase, going up from 63 in her sophomore year to 119 in her junior season. Her diverging focuses appear to pay off, as in addition to top-ranking three-point percentages she also holds top 10 spots for the College in free throw percentage (78.7), scoring average (13.2) and threes made (207). She is one of few players to appear in every game in her career and has a high average for minutes played that allows her to establish herself on the court. Head coach Ed Swanson’s trust in Tremba has allowed the Tribe to grow from a team with losing records to one that has broken about even, with 15 wins in each of the last two years.

Tremba remains humble, and, along with her greater assist rating, she shows growth as a player with a better sense of positioning and set-up in addition to accurate shooting. Coming into 2016-17 as a senior, she is not alone, and she spoke about how she believes the upperclassmen around her will contribute to the program’s success.

“The past year we only graduated one senior, so we have a large group of upperclassmen this year,” Tremba said. “All five starters are back, so I think it’s really great. We all have chemistry from last year we can build on this year and everyone has experience playing so we should be able to step up the next level.”

“The past year we only graduated one senior, so we have a large group of upperclassmen this year,” Tremba said. “All five starters are back, so I think it’s really great. We all have chemistry from last year we can build on this year and everyone has experience playing so we should be able to step up the next level.”

With three other seniors and three juniors on the team, the Tribe is poised for a breakout year, as it hasn’t had more than two seniors since Swanson took over. In addition, this is the first year Swanson has returned multiple preseason All-CAA honoree upperclassmen, one of whom is Tremba. Though the season begins with the non-conference slate this Sunday, Tremba appears charged up for the conference slate that begins in January.

“I would say CAA play, maybe James Madison because that was our big win last year against them,” Tremba said about what games she looks forward to this year. “They’re always the team we’re trying to chase and beat them just because they’re always winning the championship … they’re our main target.”

“I would say CAA play, maybe James Madison because that was our big win last year against them,” Tremba said about what games she looks forward to this year. “They’re always the team we’re trying to chase and beat them just because they’re always winning the championship … they’re our main target.”

James Madison — the three-time defending CAA champion, the host of this year’s CAA tournament and a preseason favorite — fell in overtime to the Tribe Jan. 3 last season at Kaplan Arena. Tremba went 1 for 10 from the floor, 0 for 2 from distance and 7 for 9 from the charity stripe during the game, only netting nine points and turning the ball over four times. With that statline, it is no wonder this is the series she looks forward to most. With the increased confidence she gained during the offseason as well as her additional season of experience, she and the Tribe hold a much higher chance of performing well in the CAA. Though there are 29 games between now and March, Tremba looks to be at her peak in the tournament to help her team rise to the occasion.

“Obviously when you go into tournament time, that’s the time you need to step up your game and play to your highest potential, which is what I tried to do [last year] and I think I succeeded pretty well,” she said. “So hopefully going to the tournament this year, I’ll be able to play at that level and hopefully the team will as well, maybe be able to have a record season and get a lot further this year in the tournament.”

Tremba was selected as an All-CAA Preseason Second Team member last month while the Tribe was picked to finish in fifth in the conference, two spots up from last year. With Tremba taking charge and surrounding herself with talent, she appears excited and spoke on why people should watch the team this year.

“I think [fans] would have a really good time if [they] come out to watch us play,” she said. “We play a fast-paced game. Obviously we can’t dunk like the men, but we can shoot the ball well and hopefully a lot of our games will be exciting to watch.”

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About Author

Nick Cipolla

Senior Staff Writer Nick Cipolla '17 is a neuroscience major from Virginia Beach, Va. He was previously Sports Editor.