Road Warriors: Seattle in midst of longest road trip of the year

The Seattle Storm will be missing the comforts of their home confines until Friday, June 21. They are in the middle of a four game road trip, their longest of the season.

Seattle fell to the Sky in Chicago 78-71 on June 9 and held on to win at Indiana on June 11. At 1-1, Seattle can still close out the trip with two wins to make the trip successful.

But that is far from an easy task. Seattle will visit Washington on June 14 and then they take a trip to face the first place Connecticut Sun on June 16.

Other than Indiana, all these teams are above Seattle in the standings. Seattle fell to Chicago for the second time, both times in the Windy City. Even with Alysha Clark the second time around and 20-point performances from Natasha Howard and Jewell Loyd, Seattle couldn’t find all of the answers to pull out a win.

Early struggles sank Seattle’s hope. Chicago scored 29 points first quarter by the Sky while Seattle never reached the 20 point mark in a quarter. Cheyenne Parker led Chicago in points with 18. Stefanie Dolson pitched in with 15 points and Courtney Vandersloot put up 11 points. Chicago never trailed in this game and it was only tied once.

Seattle then moved one state to the East to battle the Indiana Fever. Seattle escaped the Hoosier state with a narrow 84-82 win. If Seattle wants to improve its spot in the standings, it has to perform better against the bottom of the league. Indiana has a 3-3 record to date. While the Storm are only at a 4-3 record and have looked much improved from last year’s debacle, Seattle is defending a championship and that means feasting on the weaker teams in the league.

Seattle got off to a fast start, scoring 46 points in the first half. It was truly a full team effort as Seattle had three players in double digits and everyone who saw the floor scored points. In order to win on the road, Seattle must play a team game as Jewell Loyd explained.

“I think it was a team win for sure. You know, it’s very hard to win in this league and it’s definitely hard to win on the road,” she said. “Any time you get a win on the road it’s always a plus.”

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While the Fever have a .500 record, interim coach  Gary Kloppenburg was happy to get a win against a team with “outstanding offensive weapons.” He gave praise to his team for getting back in the win column on the road.

“I mean, it’s difficult. Anytime on the road in our league you get a win, they’re difficult to come by,” he said. “For the most part we played pretty well.”

Seattle will have two extremely tough road tests next as it travels to Washington for the first time since clinching the 2018 WNBA Finals in Game 3. Then, they take on the first place Connecticut Sun. If the Storm want to regain top of the league status, they will need to continue to play as a team and do the little things right. Winning on the road is never easy, and Seattle is halfway through this very tough road trip.

Seattle can, however, look forward to lots of home cooking later in the year. The Storm have a stretch later this month and into next where they will play eight of nine games near Seattle. Until then, they will have to continue to battle against top-level talent on the road. 

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