The Coast Guard Academy women's basketball team which registered ten or more wins for the first time since the 2007-08 season last year when they finished 10-15 overall return its top three scorers and welcome back junior Brittney Zimmerman, who missed all of last season with an injury.
Coast Guard returns seven players, who started 11 or more games a year ago as well as Zimmerman who started all 24 games during the 2011-12 season and averaged 10.1 points while leading the team with 71 assists, 34 three-pointers while shooting a team-high 39.1 percent from behind the arc. This is her final year of eligibility after playing two seasons at Delaware Valley College.
Sophomores Torie Sutherland and Meghan Fornaro are coming off outstanding freshman seasons when they were the top two scorers for the Bears. Sutherland, a swing player, led the Bears with ten points per game and was second with 5.6 rebounds per game while Fornaro was second on the team with 9.4 points per game while dishing out a team-high 45 assists, leading the team with 47 steals and knocking down a team-best 31 treys.
"Torie and Meghan both started and played great for us last season and I expect with the experience they gained last season for them to continue to produce for us again this season," said Coast Guard head coach Alex Ivansheck, who is in her second season.
The only senior on the team, guard Kaitlin Ward, is a four-year starter and the only player to make all 25 starts last season. She was third on the team with eight points per game, second with 28 steals while grabbing 4.6 rebounds a game.
Four juniors return along with Zimmerman are back for the Bears in guards Alexi Howland and Leigh Steinbeck along with forwards Dani Knox and Jamie Waterman.
Howland (3.6 ppg) appeared in all 25 games and made 11 starts last season. She will benefit my moving back to her natural position as an off guard after playing mostly point guard last season. Steinbeck (2.7 ppg.) played really well later in the season and will look to carry that momentum into this season.
Knox (3.8 ppg.) played in all 25 games and made 13 starts and was third on the team with five rebounds per game. She is a steady player and one of the Bears best post defenders. Waterman (2.7 ppg./2.8 rpg.), who appeared in 22 games and made four starts, came back in great shape and has looked impressive in the preseason.
Sophomore forward Nicole Strickland, who missed all of last season, is expected to contribute in the Bears front court.
"We are excited to build upon last season and continue to improve," said Ivansheck. "We have a bulk of the team back and they are familiar with what our expectations are and we as a coaching staff know what we can expect from the players. We are looking to improve our fifth place finish in the NEWMAC and advance further into the conference tournament."
Coast Guard will open the season on Nov. 16th at Mitchell at 5:30 p.m.
To view the 2013-14 Women's Basketball Online Guide -- CLICK HERE