Seniors give women's basketball a competitive edge

Mercyhurst College senior Samantha Loadman has been an offensive catalyst for the women’s basketball team.Mercyhurst College senior Samantha Loadman has been an offensive catalyst for the women’s basketball team.Competitive is a word Mercyhurst College senior Amy Achesinski would describe her fellow senior basketball player Samantha Loadman.

Over the past four years Loadman has been a pivotal part of the Lakers success.

She sits third on the All-Time 3-Point field goals made with 172, hitting 70 of them last season, and 50 of those in conference play making her top in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).

Loadman averaged 12.5 points per game last season alone as well as scoring in double digits 20 times out of 26 contests. These efforts led the team in scoring 10 times during the 2009-10 season.

Achesinski, who Loadman also describes as competitive, led the Lakers in scoring and rebounding for a third time in 2009-10.
Last season Achesinski scored in double figures 19 times, including eight double-doubles, as well as being named to the All-PSAC West Second Team, and CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team.

During her junior season Achesinski averaged 12.7 points per game and is currently 10th on the All-Time scoring record with 1,166 points.

Through three complete seasons she has tallied 615 rebounds and averaged 8.5 per contest last season.

In her junior year she led the team in scoring 14 times, and 19 times in rebounds.

As impressive as these two astonishing athletes look, this only begins to scratch the surface of the effect the pair has had on the program.

On the court it is evident that both Loadman and Achesinski bring an enormous amount of quality leadership, and effort to each game they play.

They have been active in all 90 of the program’s contests since 2007-08 and together tallied 2,265 points during their time here.

Looking back on her time here, Loadman admits that she has changed a lot as a player and has worked hard to expand her game. Leaving is “bittersweet” for Loadman, who is ready to move on but does not want to leave her teammates, or stop playing.

“Play as hard as you can every practice and every game because before you know it, it’s over,” Loadman said to her teammates.

After graduation, Loadman plans to return home and attend grad school.

Next year, Achesinski will be back with the team, this time as the graduate assistant with the program.

In four years of college play, Achesinski has learned to “choose her battles” and does not sweat the small stuff anymore.

Although according to Achesinski being a senior is “scary and exciting all wrapped into one” she is glad to be able to share the memories with Loadman who has been right alongside her the entire time.

When you look at the accolades of, or watch these two immensely impressive athletes play, it is extremely clear that they are nothing of the ordinary.

Loadman and Achesinski have been making distinct contributions to their team since their first season as Lakers in 2007 and will continue to strive for success on and off the court in their final season as Lakers.