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Whitworth women's basketball: 'a family' that knows how to win

Kendra stands smiling on the basketball court with a basketball under her arm.Pirates' team captain Kendra Knutsen, '15, says her team is putting high expectations on itself as the regular basketball season gears up. "I am looking forward to making memories and getting some great wins with my teammates. The memories we make when we are together are unforgettable, and I cannot wait to see where this season takes us."

The Whitworth women's basketball team is currently off to a winning start, with a 4-0 record. Last season the  team finished third in the Northwest Conference with a 21-8 record; the team repeated as Northwest Conference tournament champions to earn a second straight automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament, where it won the program's first NCAA tournament game. This year the Pirates are seeking to make their third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.

In Knutsen's fourth and final season as a Whitworth Pirate, she hopes to finish on a strong note. The life of a student-athlete has its challenges, but Knutsen says she enjoys every minute.

"Being a student-athlete at Whitworth is great, and I have a wonderful team," Knutsen says. "I love playing basketball, but my teammates have made my experience as an athlete so much better. We are a family, and it is so nice to have their support on and off the court."

Knutsen, a Spokane native, is  majoring in mathematics, and she plans on becoming a high-school math teacher. Perhaps a bit of coaching is in her future, as well.