Their season may be over, but junior center Katie Zenevitch and the Boston College women’s basketball team are suddenly brimming with confidence.
The 6-foot-3 Zenevitch, the former Central Catholic star from Methuen, and the Eagles are coming off an impressive performance in the ACC tournament, one that has them gushing with optimism as they look ahead to next year.
As an 11th seed, Boston College upset Virginia in the first round, marking only the second time such a low seed has won an ACC tournament game, and then it took a powerful 27-5 North Carolina team to the wire before falling, 62-57.
That may have put a wrap to a 10-17 season, but it also was a gift in the confidence department.
“I’m extremely happy with the way the season ended,” said Zenevitch. “The team made so many improvements ... I don’t think people thought we could do so well in the tournament.”
A lot of that improvement can be attributed to Zenevitch according to first-year coach Erik Johnson, a former BC assistant who originally recruited her and came back after three seasons as head man at Denver University.
As basically the team’s lone regular contributor down low, Zenevitch led the team in blocks and rebounds (6.8 per game), was second in scoring (12.1) and led the team in field goal percentage (.504) and both free throw totals (71) and percentage (.855).
“We had to rely on Katie a lot,” said Johnson. “We didn’t have a true post player so she had to play as our center. We morphed our game around her — basically, we had four guards and her — and we made it work.”
It was a work in progress during the season, however. Early in the season, the team struggled as it adjusted to a new system and Zenevitch had to learn a different style of play.