4GuysinBlazers

New Season, New Journey For Siena Women

first practice

Head Coach Ali Jaques huddles her team at the start of the season’s 1st practice encouraging them to, “Enjoy the Journey”.

 

Following one of the most gratifying seasons in some time, the Siena Women began a new journey this week with the start of official practices for the 2015-2016 season. Coming off a 23-win season that included a march to the WBI final, along with an influx of new talent, the future of the program appears to be as bright as the shiny new floor in the Alumni Recreation Center.

“For me going into year four it’s a new challenge, a new year and a new journey to get started,” said head coach Ali Jaques. ‘They’ve worked very hard this summer and the returners have gotten better. The young ones have brought a lot of talent and energy so we’ll see what we can do.”

“We’re all excited right now,” said junior Meghan Donohue. “This is my third year here. I’m looking forward to it. I have two years under my belt. We have a lot of young, new faces so it will be interesting to see how this year pans out. But, it looks good so far.”

Although the ARC has gone through Phase 1 of renovations, the new floor and chair back seats won’t be the only thing to look a lot different this season. Of the seven active players from last year, two graduated (Tehresa Coles and Ida Krogh) and Emia Willingham is lost with an off-season injury. However, there are a total of eight additions which will add much more than just bodies to this year’s squad.

Four players, who may have watched from the bench last season, know the system and are hitting the ground running. Bri Logan, who had been slated to start at the point last preseason, returns following a season-ending injury. Fans will get their first look and will like what they see in Emmanuella Edoka and Joella Gibson who red-shirted as freshmen last season and Denisha Petty-Evans, a transfer from George Mason is also ready to go for the Saints.

In addition, a skilled and athletic freshmen class of four looks to have the ability to have an instant impact that will add depth and versatility to this team.

“They really stepped in and they’re making a huge impact,” said Logan. They are doing a lot better than I expected as freshmen.”

Not to be forgotten is that the Saints have one of the top returning frontcourts in the MAAC. Donohue and MAAC Rookie of the Year, Margot Hetzke, both averaged in double figures in scoring last season and were the Saint’s top two rebounders. Lone senior Symone Kelly had a solid bounce-back year and according to Jaques had a great off season which is a great sign for the team’s depth inside.

“It’s super exciting,” said Hetke of the start of the official start of the new season. “Not only because preseason is over, as much as we need that, that’s not the fun part about basketball, this is. It’s even more exciting than a normal year because we have this beautiful new gym.”

Sophomore Kollyns Scarbrough started all 35 games as a freshman and is drawing praise from Jaques for her physical development in the offseason by having “attacked the weight room”. Scarbrough echoes her classmates enthusiasm.

“It feels great. It’s finally time to get at it. It’s the official start of the season we’ve all been excited for. We’re ready to get started. We have a lot of new, young talent. We have some older players coming back so now it’s basically bringing that together offensively and defensively to the point where we work together as a unit. There’s so much we can do. It’s going to be exciting.”

One Comment

  1. Gerald Sherry

    October 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I look forward to seeing Brianna and Emmanuella develop over the course of the season. I saw Emmanuella play at Hudson Valley as a senior and felt, even though she had a great senior season, that she was tentative to really mix it up under the boards. In the one practice I saw recently she has made strides in that area. I know she has only been playing hoops for a few short years. I feel her offensive game will progress by leaps and bounds. And the feeling in college basketball is that players make a giant leap in development between their freshman and sophomore years. If that is the case, Margot and Kollyns should be All League caliber this year. As Allie states out of timeouts GO SAINTS!

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