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2021-22 Player Preview: Eliza Hollingsworth

Opportunity has come knocking for the Aussie forward.

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Eliza Hollingsworth has spent the majority of her first two years at Gonzaga working on skills development and waiting her turn. Hollingsworth’s first year in Spokane saw her take a redshirt, while her redshirt freshman campaign in 2020-21 yielded 36 minutes of play over 10 appearances.

After the graduations of Jill Townsend and the Wirth twins in the frontcourt, there are big minutes up for grabs in Gonzaga’s rotation this season. For young players like Hollingsworth, that presents a major opportunity to seize a role and playing time.

Of course, the 6’3” forward from Australia won’t be handed anything. She will be competing for time with the likes of sophomore forward Yvonne Ejim, whose star is rising rapidly after her stellar performance in the WCC Championship game and strong summer with Team Canada in the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup, senior forward Melody Kempton, and Kylee Griffen not to mention the host of newcomers in Spokane.

Last season, Hollingsworth didn’t see any game action until conference play when she played six minutes on the road in Santa Clara and another five at San Francisco two days later. Her appearances after that pair of games were mostly of the short end-of-game variety but she did get some more run in the final week of WCC play, before playing five minutes in the WCC Championship with a large portion of the squad stricken with illness. In total, Hollingsworth notched 24 points and 10 rebounds in her limited action, but showed a good feel for her shot selection which yielded strong shooting percentages (10-15 FG, 3-6 3PT).

In order to build on that initial season of gameplay, Hollingsworth needs to prove to the coaching staff that she is ready for more responsibility and has the versatility to play both the “3” and “4” spots both on offense and defense. This past summer will have been a key summer for here in order to put her best foot forward during fall practices in the buildup to the new season. It will be interesting to see where her game is and what role she can carve out for herself in a new era for Gonzaga basketball.