Women’s hoops looks strong

After losing three players to graduation, women’s basketball is in a good position to improve upon last season’s disappointing first-round loss to Wesleyan in the NESCAC tournament. The team, which has historically competed at the top of the conference, looks to a strong corps of young players to balance solid senior leadership.

“With the addition of five freshmen, we are a very young team this year,” said captain Mika Peterman ’09. “However, we are not inexperienced like we were last year. We are already ahead of where we were last year during the preseason.”

Last year, the Ephs finished with a 16-9 record (6-4 in the NESCAC). Although the women hit a five-game winning streak down the stretch last season, Williams lost its final three games of the season and failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in three years.

Fortunately for the Ephs, Peterman, last year’s co-captain, is back again to anchor the squad. A First Team All-NESCAC selection last year, Peterman led the team in points (382), points per game (15.3), field goal attempts (360), field goals made (142), three-point field goal attempts (152) and three-point field goals made (64).

The team also returns a solid group of sophomores, who, next to Peterman, paced the team in several categories. Last season Chessie Jackson ’11 and Taylor Shea ’11 averaged 12.8 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. Shea led the squad with 197 rebounds, while Jessica Harris ’11 pulled down 173 boards on the year.

The five newcomers to the team will add depth to the roster. Peterman cited Jill Greenberg ’12 and Lisa Jaris ’12 as two solid performers in preseason play. “We have great depth this year, both in the guard and post position,” Peterman said. “Having the ability to play several players in games will allow us to wear down our opponents and play with unremitting intensity. We are also a very quick team and will look to run at every given opportunity.”

Williams will kick off its season with a home game against Skidmore next Tuesday. It will be a long road to the NCAA playoffs in early March, but the team is hopeful. “We have very high expectations for this season,” Peterman said. “We are determined to go further than last year; we want to win NESCACs and compete in the NCAA tournament. We have more away games than home games, and so our success will be heavily dependent on our performance on the road.”