2003-04 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
 


PITT-GREENSBURG EXPECTED TO TOP
THE AMCC AGAIN IN 2003-04
 


The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is the favorite to repeat as Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference women's basketball champions, according to the AMCC pre-season coaches’ poll.

After finishing as the runner-up in the regular season to Penn State Behrend, the Bobcats emerged as the conference champion at the AMCC tournament, earning a bid to the NCAA Div. III tournament.  UPG lost in the second round.  The Behrend Lions, last season's runner-up in the AMCC title game, was selected to finish second, with Frostburg State University third.  FSU junior guard/forward Tracey Little (Allegany HS/La Vale, MD) was the consensus pick as Preseason Player of the Year.  Little was the AMCC Player of the Year last season, leading the league in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (10.0 rpg).  She is a Preseason All-American selection of DIII News.
                            

AMCC
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL POLL
Preseason Rankings:
1. Pitt-Greensburg
2. Penn State Behrend
3. Frostburg State

Preseason Player of the Year:
Tracey Little, Frostburg State

 

 


                                    Other players to watch:

FROSTBURG STATE
Frostburg State begins life without three-time first-team All-AMCC pick Kim Faust (1,624 points and 888 rebounds in her career) but returns seven players, including junior forward Tracey Little (Allegany/LaVale, MD), last year’s AMCC Player of the Year and a Pre-Season All-America honorable mention selection this year.  Her16.9 ppg., 10.0 rebounds, 14 double-doubles in 2002-03 led the team and the league.

After finishing 8-18 (5-9 AMCC) in 2001-02, the Bobcats improved to 12-15 overall and 5-7 in the AMCC and advanced to the league semifinals. Little is the lone returning starter, but third-year head coach Jody Pepple has added seven newcomers, most notably junior forward Jamie Cable, who transferred from Division II Shippensburg. Also expected to contribute will be sophomore forward/guard Kelly True (Southern Fulton/Warfordsburg, PA), who averaged 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in limited action last season. She scored in double-figures five times and had one double-double.

LA ROCHE
The 2003-04 women's basketball season begins with great excitement and expectations surrounding the Lady Redhawks. Depth played a factor in some of last season's struggles, but a powerful recruiting class of seven should allow this year's squad to run a more up- tempo style offense. The addition of depth was the main focus in recruiting for this season.

The Lady Redhawks are returning starters Johnetta Owens (Westinghouse/ Pittsburgh, PA) and Megan Snyder (Shaler/Glenshaw, PA) along with reserve guards Amy Myers and Shawnti Lyon. The newcomers this season include a strong and aggressive backcourt with freshmen guards Christina Ball, Jessica Thomas and Kari Whiteman. The backcourt adds finesse with transfer guard Ayana Bronson and Isheima Worthy. La Roche Lady Redhawks are destined to control the boards with power forwards Beverly Kitchens, JaNet Walston and Lacey Job.

LAKE ERIE
The Lake Erie College women’s basketball team lost two starters and graduated one senior in the off-season but added four new freshmen to play alongside five returnees in Carla Richardson’s first season as head coach.  Richardson, who was the co-head coach last season, will work with three seniors, two juniors, four freshmen and a transfer to build an offensively geared program. 

The core of returning talent, which includes senior guard Phylicia Chiappone (Lake Catholic/Painesville, OH), will provide leadership for the incoming class.  Richardson will have a variety of looks for Chiappone and freshman Amanda Bray on the outside and senior Elisha Crutcher (Lorain Southview/Lorain, OH) in the post.  In all, Lake Erie will look to its offense to create momentum throughout the season. 

PENN STATE ALTOONA
John Nardozza is heading into his fourth season at the helm of the Penn State Altoona Lady Lions and ninth as a member of the coaching staff but this year brings almost all new faces to the seasoned head coach. Nardozza has only three returning players from last year's team, but some solid recruits and a couple of transfer students are helping to mold the new team quickly.  The number one goal for the team, aside from winning the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC), is to win a bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Tara Stock and Lindsey Barr  have both transferred to Penn State Altoona for their sophomore seasons and Nardozza looks for big performances from as they return to their home areas. Erin Shields, a product of Bishop Guilfoyle returns for a second season with the Lady Lions along with teammates Laura Price and Elise Jones. Nardozza also has big expectations for newcomers Ashley Steiner of Hollidaysburg, sisters Kelly and Tracy Donatelli, Darcy Everetts, and Shana Kautter.

PENN STATE BEHREND

Last season the Behrend Lions captured their fifth Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference regular-season championship in seven years with a 10-2 mark and then lost in overtime in the AMCC finals. The Behrend Lions earned a berth into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament for the fifth time and finished the season 15-13.  The blue and white will rely on eleven letter winners, a transfer, and three freshmen as they enter the season. Although eleventh year head coach Roz Fornari will be guiding one of her most youthful teams she has ever had, she is very excited.

Senior leadership and big time game experience will be provided by senior captains Erica Mozdy (Mercyhurst Prep/Erie/PA) and Carly Cochran (McDowell/Erie, PA).  Mozdy is the incumbent at point guard and at times can carry the team on either side of the ball. She was a second-team all-conference performer, and averaged 8.2 ppg and 4.1 rpg last season. Mozdy led the team in assists per game at 2.5 and also in steals with 39.  Cochran really elevated her game last season and was instrumental in the team's postseason run. She posted career highs with 11.3 ppg and 5.2 rpg, while shooting 45% from the field and 76% from the charityipe. Junior Amber Krumpe (Mercyhurst Prep/Erie, PA) was hands down an all-AMCC player in her first year with the Behrend Lions after transferring in from Baldwin-Wallace. She led the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg, rebounding at 6.5 rpg, field goal percentage at 51.8%, and blocks with 16. Krumpe will continue to gain attention as the blue and white's main interior threat and earn recognition as a possible AMCC Player of the Year.   

PITT-BRADFORD
After a 1-11 start to the 2002-03 campaign, the Lady Panthers pretty much leveled off over the final half of the season to finish 7-18 overall and 4-8 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.

This season fourth-year head coach Dalyann Fuller (24-52) has four returnees including sophomore Julia Augustus DeSales/Geneva, NY), who was named AMCC Newcomer of the year after leading the Lady Panthers in scoring (13.4 ppg), assists (62) and steals (53). Also returning will be junior guards Cassandra Walker (Towanda/ Towanda, PA) and Calista Walker (Towanda/Towanda, PA) and sophomore guard/ forward Katie Barrett (Otto-Eldred/Rixford, PA).

PITT-GREENSBURG
The 2003-04 University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg Lady Bobcats will have a
difficult time duplicating the magical run of a season ago. The 2002-03 Lady Bobcats finished the season with a 23-7 record, highlighted by the program's first AMCC championship, as well as the program's first NCAA Division III tournament bid. The Lady Bobcats also earned the school's first NCAA tournament victory by upsetting Mt. St. Mary, 62-54, in the first round, before losing to King's College in the second round.

Returning to help the 2003-04 team in their quest will be eight letter-winners including three starters. Senior guards Annie Sral (Bishop Guilfoyle/Altoona, PA) and Torey Auld (Seneca Valley Zelienople, PA) are four-year veterans at the core of the Bobcats' success. The 5'5" Sral, a feisty defender and clutch scorer, averaged a team-high 13.8 points per game, while collecting an AMCC best 91 steals in 30 games.
She also finished second with 85 assists and grabbed 138 rebounds (4.6 per
game) and was named First Team All-AMCC for the second consecutive season.
A steady ballhandler, the 5'8" Auld finished second in the AMCC with an
average of 4.4 assists per game. She also chipped in 6.4 points per game
and 81 steals, second most on the team, while playing in all 30 contests.
Despite being left off the All-Conference team a season ago, Auld was named
Honorable Mention All-AMCC in each of her first two seasons.

Five sophomores return from last season's success, including starting guard
Jess Phillippi (Rockwood/Rockwood, PA), who played in all 30 games, averaged 7.5 points per game, while finishing third on the team in rebounds (4.1 per game), assists (65), and steals (64). Key reserve Tish Hines (Clairton/Clairton, PA) also appeared in all 30 games. The 5'8" Hines added 11 blocks and had double-doubles in points and rebounds in both the AMCC championship game and in the NCAA second round.