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Muhlenberg College

Thursday, November 15, 2007 - page 2

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Season Preview
women’s hoops looks to experience, depth

Experience is on the side of the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team in 2007-08.

Competing with a roster of eight freshmen, four sophomores and only four upperclassmen last season, the Mules
Abra Like
Like led the Mules with 29 steals last year. She also was second on the team in three-pointer and second in the CC in assists.
opened with 11 straight wins and finished with a 19-7 record.

This year, the team is returning 14 players. After having to quickly mesh and learn to work together last year, the Mules now can focus on strengthening that bond instead of creating it. They will begin with a game against Villa Julie at the Scotty Wood Tournament Friday night.

“I think we have really great chemistry,” said Michelle Feldman, one of two seniors. “We’re very team oriented. We believe in everyone helping out, and in practice or in games it’s going to take all 16 of us.”

Muhlenberg is looking to its speed and depth to achieve a successful season. The Mules have an
Michelle Feldman
Feldman had 28 assists against only 15 turnovers in her first three seasons
impressive combination of both size and quickness on the roster, so a more up-tempo, aggressive style of play can be expected.

“It’s a nice change of pace from what we’ve been doing the last two years,” said Feldman, who joins fellow senior Abra Like as the lone holdovers from the manic Grinnell style Muhlenberg played in 2004-05. “It involves the team a lot more, and it’s going to be exciting.”

The Mules have three of their starters back. Like had a breakout season at the point last year, dishing out 102 assists. Juniors Erin McSherry and Lauren Boyle also bring impressive credentials from last season. After seeing minimal time as a freshman, McSherry stepped forward as the team’s center, averaging 7.2 rebounds per game and blocking 47 shots. Boyle, who has been one of Muhlenberg’s leading scorers since her first game freshman year, will undoubtedly have a large impact on the team’s success. The first-team All-Centennial Conference selection ranked in the top five in the CC in scoring (14.1 points per game) and top 10 in assists (2.6 per game).

Several other returning players saw considerable time in 2006-07 and are in positions to step up and contribute in a big way this year. Feldman, junior Kaitlin Strumph and sophomores Kaitlyn O’Malley and Brenna Ferster will factor in at the guard positions. Junior Bethany Enterline and sophomore Alexis Bates return as major contributors in the post. Enterline’s injury halfway through last season, and resulting decrease in playing time, correlated with the team’s struggles down the stretch.

Five other sophomores are returning with a year of familiarity under their belts. Maiza Mock, Katelyn Tolan, Katie Ferris, Alyssa Scaglione and Diana Canzoneri all have the opportunity to reveal their talents this year as more experienced sophomores.

Experience is something all returning players will bring into the season, especially the experience of ending last year with four straight losses. That may be the added motivation to spark this year’s squad.

“We learned a lot from that, not to get too over-confident,” agreed Feldman. “We have to play strong and consistent the whole season.”

Consistency could go a long way in what figures to be a wide-open CC race, as all four semifinal teams from last year lost their leading scorer. The Mules were picked to finish third in the preseason poll.

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