Last season, the ENC women’s basketball team had a disappointing 11-15 record (6-12 in conference play) after going 10-8 in the CCC in 2011-12. This year, the Lions are hungry to prove that they are reloaded and ready to fight for the conference title.
This season will bring many changes for the team and new players must step into leading roles. Though only 20% of last season’s scoring was contributed by players returning to the team, Coach Sacha Santimano is confident in this year’s squad.
“We never compare year to year. Each team is different,” Santimano said. “Every year brings new talent and new challenges.”
The women’s basketball team has to replace three seniors: 1,000 point scorer Shardae Brown, last season’s co-captain Ace Carradine, and defender Mel Green.
With only one senior on this year’s team, Abbie Tonello, the coaching staff searched for players who could add valuable experience to the young team. They successfully brought in five transfer juniors from the California area.
“I have to give a lot of the credit to my assistant coach [Madison Flowers],” Santimano said of the solid recruiting class.
“We spoke to Abbie at the end of the year and asked her what she wanted to see brought to the team. She said she wanted more experience and a junior class, so my assistant went out to California for four days and recruited nine girls, and five of them came here and are playing for [us] this year,” Santimano said.
With a good mix of young and experienced talent, Santimano is excited for the upcoming season.
“I’m looking forward to us getting better each and every day, and working on becoming a closer and stronger unit, and being a good reflection on the school as leaders, as athletes, and as women.”
With the goals of unity and hard work being the driving force, the Lions look poised to leave their mark on the conference.