Opichka Sisters Make Each Other Better on Basketball Court

Ashley Lemens, Staff Writer, Journalism I

“I love having my sister on the court with me,” said senior Elizabeth (Lizzie) Opichka, one of the captains of the girls basketball team. “Not everything is easy, we tend to fight a bit, but I think it makes each other better.”

Through the past couple years, the Notre Dame Girls Basketball team has had the chance to have siblings on the same team. The Campbells, the Reitzs and the Opichkas have all played as sisters on the same team.

The Tritons have two pairs of sisters on the team this year. Both Maddie (senior) and Hana (sophomore) Reitz and the Opichkas.  

As a lucky pair of siblings who get to play together, Lizzie gets the chance to play with her freshman sister Samantha (Sammy) for one year before she graduates.

“I knew we’d make a good team, and I just had to wait for the one year she’d be old enough to get to play with me,” said Lizzie. “I was able to help coach her futures team in grade school, so I got to watch her grow as a player. It’s easy for us to tell each other what we do wrong so we can fix it. She’s becoming a great point guard for the team, and I know she will continue to improve and make an impact in our program.”

The Opichkas share a bond on and off the court, and you can tell that when they are playing together.

“I’ve never been able to play with my sister, so this year to me is very special,” explained Sammy. “Getting the opportunity to play with her is beyond amazing.”

The Tritons have made a strong start to their season with six wins.

“This season has started really well.  We’ve come out strong and proven we can make an impact as the predicted number one team in conference,” said Lizzie.

Most teams tend to play well together on the court but some don’t have good chemistry off the court as the Tritons do.

“The team chemistry has been better as well,” said Lizzie. “I think our strength as a team comes from how well we know each other and get along as well as our work ethic. We have improved an insane amount from last year. If anyone saw us (or our record), they would agree this is a huge step up from our past season.”

The Tritons have six seniors leading the team this year.

“I wasn’t on the team last year so I can’t compare seasons,” said Sammy. “But I think that this group of seniors put out a really good example for us and that the team chemistry is definitely there.”

“I love having my group of seniors with me on the team. We honestly don’t know what it’s like to play without each other so we really know how to play together,” said Lizzie. “They’re great teammates but they’re also my best friends. Once a ‘b-ball girl’ always a ‘b-ball girl.’”

The Tritons know that they are one of the best teams in the conference so far, but that doesn’t stop them from working hard to get better.

“Being the best in the conference is a great title for us but we can’t take it for granted. No matter what we are ranked, we have to treat every game like it’s the championship,” said Sammy. “I think that it makes our team work harder and gives us more confidence which will help us in the long run.”

“We knew we didn’t want another season of ups and downs so our off season was really important to us to get better,” said Lizzie. “Knowing we had this title going into the season was definitely motivation to live up to it. We always seem to have a target on our backs, so every game is important. We can’t underestimate anyone. Our conference is competitive but I’m looking forward to seeing how the season plays out.”