Seniors Quinones and Lippold lead women’s basketball team

by Lili Stern | 1/7/19 2:15am

After breakout 2017-18 seasons, forward Isalys Quinones ’19 and point guard Cy Lippold ’19 have returned to the court in a similarly dominant fashion. This year’s women’s basketball team captains, they are two of the team’s leading scorers, averaging 13.5 and 8.9 points per game, respectively.

Last season, Lippold was the Big Green’s second leading scorer, averaging just 1.7 fewer points per game than Kate Letkewicz ’18, who received Second Team All-Ivy honors at the end of the season. Quinones was just behind Lippold on the list of scoring leaders.

While Quinones was a key contributor in her sophomore season, nearly leading the team in blocks and averaging 9.1 points per game, Lippold had never been a consistent starter or key contributor before last year. However, after former starting point guard Amber Mixon ’18 opted not to play her senior season and an early injury struck point guard Annie McKenna ’20, Lippold was called upon to assume the starting point guard role.

“I was really the only one left, and I was kind of thrown in the fire and tried to make things work,” Lippold said. “I think that just having that opportunity is what gave me my jump start there. Coach was able to see what I was able to do without really any other backups.”

Last year’s success has spilled into this season’s campaign as well; after hitting seven shots from behind the arc against University of Massachusetts at Lowell on Dec. 12 and walking away with a career-high 25 points, Lippold was named’s Athlete of the Week. Her seven 3-pointers fell just one short of tying the Dartmouth single-game record.

This season, Lippold is one of four starters who stand under 6 feet tall, rounding out a smaller, quicker offense than what the Big Green has seen in the past. Accordingly, head coach Belle Koclanes has changed to a faster, transition-style play. Lippold, the team’s smallest player, said that she thrives off of this style of play. And, despite standing 6 feet 3 inches tall, Quinones doesn’t mind it either.

“I’ve always been pretty fast,” Quinones said. “There are some bigger people who are back-to-the-basket post players, but we don’t have many of those on our team.”

Quinones said she knows that, depending on the lineup, she needs to assume different roles in order to best lead her team to victory.

“If we’re playing a small lineup where I’m the biggest player and there are four other guards around me, then I need to do the majority of the rebounding, whereas if we have a bunch of defensive players on the floor at one time, then I need to do more of the scoring,” Quinones said. “So it’s kind of finding my spot within the lineups that we have.”

Given Quinones’ versatile role and high level of play, other players look to her as a leader on the team.

“[Quinones has] been a great mentor and leader to me,” forward Anna Luce ’21 said. “If I’m struggling with something, she will definitely help me out. I know if I have a question I can always go to her, but I also think she does a really great job of leading by example.”

Lippold, as a point guard, is looked to as the more vocal leader of the pair. However, she said that she doesn’t try to lead each player in the same way, and knows that each player responds to a different style of coaching and leadership.

“Some teammates, I can yell at them, and that’s the way to motivate them,” Lippold said. “Some teammates, I need to kind of encourage them a little bit more, less of what they need to do but a ‘you got it next time’ kind of thing. That’s the hardest part for me in being a leader, is finding what works for people and doesn’t work for people, and how to get people excited and motivated to play and to bring everything they have.”

After falling just one win shy of an appearance in last year’s Ivy League tournament, Lippold and Quinones hope that their leadership will be enough to be contenders for the conference championship this year.

“I definitely want to make it to the [Ivy League] tournament, for starters, and then hopefully from there, the NCAA tournament,” Quinones said. “That’s our main focus right now.”