Women’s hoops primes for opener

Women’s basketball is gearing up for its 2011-12 season. The Ephs had a 21-6 (6-3 in the NESCAC) record last season, garnering an at-large berth to the NCAA Div. III Tournament after losing to Amherst in the NESCAC semifinals.

Jill Greenberg
Co-captain Jill Greenberg ’12 returns for her final season. She averaged 9.1 points per game and 4.9 assists per game last year. Photo courtesy of Sports Information

The women fell in the first round of the tournament against Muhlenberg.

The Ephs enter their season having graduated their top scorers last year in Chessie Jackson ’11 and Taylor Shea ’11, as well as starting guard Maddie King ’11. Jackson graduated as the program’s third all-time leading scorer. Returning starting guards co-captain Jill Greenberg ’12 and Jennie Harding ’13 will shoulder more of the offense. Returning starting forward Claire Baecher ’13, who earned second-team All-NESCAC honors last season, will take charge for the women in the paint. Forward Danny Rainer ’13 will also help the women fill the vacancy left by Jackson. The Ephs also return Grace Rehnquist ’13, who led the team in three-pointers last season. Luigia Goodman ’14 will take on the women’s defensive responsibilities at center.

“We have so much depth at every position that we’re still working on the rotation and starting lineup for this weekend,” Head Coach Pat Manning said.

Manning also emphasized that preparation will be key for the Ephs. “We play at a very fast-paced tempo, so it’s critical that we come out fast and ready to go. I’ve been happy with the intensity of our practices and workouts.”

The women will also feature four rookies: guard Ellen Cook ’15, forward Andrea Dunchus ’15, guard/forward Kellie Macdonald ’15 and guard/forward Megan Rogers ’15.

“The senior leadership has done a great job of getting the first-years ready for our style of play,” Manning said.

The women will host the Williams Tournament this weekend. They will face Whitman on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Babson on Sunday at 3 p.m. Williams will also host Springfield on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

“We’re starting with a championship-caliber tournament, so we’re jumping into it right off the bat,” Manning said. “We have the depth and experience to be in that position early.”