Div. I women's capsules

November 21, 1996|By Kevin Eck

Coppin State

League: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Coach: Tori Harrison (54-57 career record)

1995-96 record: 14-13, 11-5 in the MEAC

Top returnees: Lisa Briggs, 5-10, Sr., F (13.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg); Celena Falline, 5-9, Jr., G/F (6.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg); Stephanie Ready, 5-8, Sr., G/F (6.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg).

Top newcomers: Simone Adams, 6-2, Fr., C; Ayesha Dockery, 5-11, Fr., F.

Outlook: The Eagles lost just two players -- Natasha Parks and Delora Walker -- but they accounted for more than 50 percent of the team's scoring last season. Harrison has shown a penchant for getting the most out of her players, however, and figuring out who will fill those roles will be the key to Coppin's success.

The most likely person to take over the role of scorer is Briggs, one of the top post players in the conference. A physical player, Briggs complements her inside game with a nice outside shooting touch.

Loyola

League: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Coach: Pat Coyle (67-48)

1995-96 record: 15-13, 8-6 in the MAAC

Top returnees: Lynn Albert, 6-1, Sr., F (14.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg); Jennifer Bongard, 6-0, So., G/F (10.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg); Mary Anne Kirsch, 6-1, So., F (8/5 ppg, 7.1 rpg); Kristin Fraser, 5-6, Jr., G (4.7 ppg, 3.9 apg).

Top newcomers: Julie Mesaros, 5-7, Fr., G; Catey Peters, 6-1, Fr., F/C.

Outlook: Last season's surprise team in the MAAC has been projected as one of the favorites this year. The Greyhounds are picked to finish second (behind St. Peter's) this season in the MAAC coaches' preseason poll.

Ten players and four starters return from last year's team, which rallied to win 14 of its last 23 games after a 1-4 start. Among the returnees is Albert, a unanimous preseason All-MAAC first-team selection, as well as four sophomores who provided nearly half of Loyola's points, assists and rebounds as freshmen.

The Greyhounds appear to have a good mix of youth and experience. Along with Albert, seniors Dawn Gerdich (center) and Jan Przystup (forward) have played on Loyola teams that captured two conference titles and played in two NCAA

tournaments.

Maryland

League: Atlantic Coast Conference

Coach: Chris Weller (414-198)

1995-96 record: 13-14, 7-9 in the ACC

Top returnees: Stephanie Cross, 6-1, Jr., F/G (13.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg); Kelley Gibson, 5-1, So., G (12.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg); Lillian Purvis, 5-7, Sr., G (10.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg); Sonia Chase, 5-11, Jr., G/F (8.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg); Kalisa Davis, 6-2, Jr., C/F (7.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg); Nina Ohman, 6-3, Sr., C (3.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg).

Top newcomers: Branka Bogunovic, 6-8, Fr., C; Kim McCray, 5-8, Fr., G; Tiffany Brown, 5-6, Fr., G; Brandi Barnes, 6-3, Fr., F.

Outlook: There's an air of optimism at College Park. For the first time in three years, at least half of Maryland's squad consists of upperclassmen with two seniors and four juniors. All of last year's starters are back.

The returnees are looking to build on last season's strong finish, when the Terps won five of their last seven regular-season games and knocked off two Top 25 teams -- Duke and Clemson.

Competition in the ACC figures to once again be fierce, however, and a preseason coaches' poll picked the Terps to finish sixth, the same position they ended up in last season.

So far, Weller likes what she has seen, noting that the returning players showed up in better condition on the first day of practice than any of her previous teams.

The Terps should again be a balanced squad with depth at every spot. Bogunovic is the tallest player ever at Maryland.

Morgan State

League: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Coach: Darcel Estep (1st year)

1995-96 record: 5-20, 3-13 in the MEAC

Top returnees: Kaira Warfield, 5-6, Sr., G (20.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg); Nitrease Hamilton, 6-1, Sr., C/F (10.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg); Sarah Womack, 5-6, Jr., G (8.9 ppg); Faith McGriff, 5-7, Sr., F (5.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg); Tressan Dugan, 5-11, Jr., F (4.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg); Tonya Saffold, 5-8, Sr., G/F (3.1 ppg).

Top newcomers: Monique Liddell, 6-0, Fr., F; Myisha Cherry, 5-9, Fr., G/F.

Outlook: The Bears have lost 55 of their past 69 games, but they could show improvement this season. All five starters return, including Warfield, an All-MEAC selection. She finished the season fourth in the nation in steals (5.3 per game) and moved into fourth place on the school's all-time scoring list.

Karla Warfield, Kaira's twin sister and a former MEAC All-Rookie team selection, returns after a year off.

The Bears were out-rebounded by an average margin of 50.8 to 43.1 last season, and no one on the team grabbed more than 6.7 per game.

Estep, who worked for five years as an assistant at Villanova, is the first full-time women's basketball coach at the school.

Mount St. Mary's

League: Northeast Conference

Coach: Bill Sheahan (342-78)

1995-96 record: 21-8, 15-3 in the NEC

Top returnees: Megan Gardiner, 5-10, So., F (16.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg); Amy Langville, 5-8, Sr., G (15.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.5 apg); Nikki Schroyer, 5-8, Sr., F/G (9.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.0 apg); Kris Bryant, 6-0, Sr., C/F (6.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg).

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