Excitement is in the air for senior guard Karlee Krchnavi as she looks to capitalize upon her final season as a Bearcat. Coming off an impressive junior season in which she ranked seventh in the America East in rebounding and reached double figures in scoring and rebounding three times, her versatility on offense and defense will be as pivotal as ever. Krchnavi, along with her fellow seniors Carly Boland and Kai Moon, are excited to step into leadership roles to help the team achieve its ultimate goal of a conference championship.

“The trio of us have been amazing over the past few years,” Krchnavi said. “This year, all three of us are very excited. We’ve all stepped up to the plate, we’ve all been leaders for the team, so I think all three of us can bring some great contributions to the team to get us to where we need to be, to win a championship and the conference tournament this year.”

Krchnavi, like a number of past and present players in the basketball program, hails from eastern Pennsylvania. Growing up, her first sport was gymnastics, followed by softball and basketball. But later, there was a special moment for her in which she knew basketball was the sport she solely wanted to play.

“It was sophomore year of high school, it just clicked,” Krchnavi said. “I was watching March Madness and I was like ‘This is what I want to do.’ I want to pursue basketball in college rather than softball, and then I put all my time and effort into basketball.”

Despite the inevitable stress that comes with the college recruiting process, picking Binghamton to play basketball was a no-brainer for Krchnavi. The coaching staff, teammates and campus were the right accommodation for her personality. She credits her coaches and former teammate Jasmine Sina, ‘18, as influences in developing her athletic career.

“Jasmine Sina was my host when I came here,” Krchnavi said. “She was a great role model to me and I looked up to her. She helped me get through the toughest days and she helped me get through the easiest days.”

Last season, the Binghamton head coaching position was taken over by Bethann Shapiro Ord. The adjustment that follows a coaching change is never a seamless transition, and a year of experience has better acclimated Krchnavi to Shapiro Ord’s playing style and her expectations of Krchnavi and the rest of the team.

“I know how Coach Ord operates — I know what she’s looking for,” Krchnavi said. “It’s nice to already know the foundations and the fundamentals she’s looking for. Then being able to improve on mine and also help the younger girls is great.”

The women’s team has a well-built roster with experienced seniors and underclassmen that are capable of making an impact in both nonconference and conference play. Still, Krchnavi has important goals for the season ahead.

“I think what we’re looking to accomplish is, of course, wins, but [also] sharpening our skills, plays and defense to get us ready for conference play,” Krchnavi said. “Nonconference is just as important as conference play.”

Krchnavi, who is majoring in human development and minoring in health and wellness studies, is nearing the end of her tenure as a Binghamton student-athlete. She’s currently in the process of figuring out post-graduation plans, but she wants to stay in the field of athletics and help others with her experience.

As she looks forward to her final season at Binghamton, she would like to go out with a bang, possibly winning the team’s first NCAA tournament berth.

“Our strength and conditioning coach keeps saying to us that we have something special,” Krchnavi said. “It’s true — we do have something special. As long as Carly [Boland], Kai [Moon] and myself bring it every day and be the leaders of this team, I really think we can make this year something special.”