Preview: Women's Basketball Mixes Experience with Youth

Friday, November 14, 2014 - page 2

women's basketball preview Below is the transcript from a video preview of the 2014-15 Muhlenberg women’s basketball season. To watch the video, click on the thumbnail at right or here.

The seven seniors on the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team won the Centennial Conference championship as freshmen in 2012. And after two years of suffering playoff losses, they want to finish the same way they started out.

“We would definitely like to win the conference championship this year,” said senior guard Abby Stenger. “I don’t think it’s out of the question that we can do it. Just keep working hard through the entire season and keeping our focus will help us get there.”

With seven seniors on the roster, experience is definitely a plus for the Mules, who were 16-10 last year.

“This preseason I think we’ve worked harder than we ever had before,” said Stenger. “And by having so many upperclassmen we were able to really show the underclassmen the work ethic here, and that’ll really carry us through the long season we have and definitely help us in our upcoming games.”

Abby Stenger In addition to Stenger, the team’s top three-point shooter last year, the other seniors are first-team All-Centennial forward Leanna Tallamy, point guards Hannah Rush and Janelle Fleet and wing players Nicole Pepe, Laura Gregory and Emily Lesher.

Muhlenberg also has plenty of depth as it welcomes in a talented freshman class.

“This year we have a lot of depth at both the guard positions and forward positions and I think that’s going to help us in the way we play,” said Rush. “We like to run a lot, so in order to run we need that depth, so with all the subs coming in and out we’re going to be able to maximize all our strengths – whether it’s running up and down the floor or getting into our offenses and having to execute play after play, especially utilizing the strength we have in our forwards.”

Six-foot-two junior Christina Santone is one of those strong forwards, and sophomores Michelle Poole and Maggie Zerbe have shown great improvement in the frontcourt.

Sophomore guard Caroline Barberi, who missed all of last season with an injury, is back healthy and is expected to contribute right away.

“This year you can definitely see the energy we have in practice,” said Rush. “We have a lot of young girls coming in ready to play, five freshmen who haven’t gotten to play a college game yet. They’re really excited.

“All throughout the grades we’re just really ready to finally start playing and get out there. Once we get out there, we’re comfortable with each other. Practice has been going great, we’re all learning how each other plays – so we’re really excited to see where that takes us.”

Muhlenberg opens up at home on Saturday against Moravian and will host the Scotty Wood Tournament next weekend.

“I’d say we’re definitely ready to start this Saturday. Last weekend our scrimmage was really good for us and we got to see what we had to work on for this upcoming game, but we’re definitely ready to go,” said Stenger.

“We’ve all just been coming to play every single day and it’s a really good sign to see,” added Rush. “Hopefully that can continue because if it does we’re going to be good.”