UW-RF women look to improve
The UW-River Falls women's basketball team finished the 2007-2008 season with an 8-18 overall record and a 2-14 WIAC record. This season, the Falcons look to several new faces to improve on those records.
The Falcons open their regular season Tuesday at Northwestern at 7 p.m.
Head coach Cindy Hovet and the Falcons lost three starters in forwards Caitlin Hunstock and Sarah Schoeneck, and guard Krystal Parr. Hunstock, Schoeneck and Parr were the Falcons' three leading scorers from last season.
Two starters remain in guards Jenna Hanson and Kelli Hilt. Hanson is one of two seniors on the Falcons' roster and returns after averaging 6.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Hilt, a junior, averaged 7.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game a year ago.
Also returning from last season are senior guard Tessa Rohl (2.5 points per game), junior guard Katie Theisen (2.4), sophomore guard Tess Lardie (4.8), sophomore guard Lauren Pellowski (3.1), and sophomore forward Brook Romanowski (1.5).
There are six new faces on the Falcons' roster this season. Forwards Maranda Dohrn, Alise Holst, Taylor House, Courtney Jensen and Ashlee Roedel add bulk underneath the hoop. The lone freshman guard is Tiffany Gregorich.
"They're young," Hovet said. "They're full of fire, lots of fire."
Hovet is excited about all the new freshman, but she really looks forward to watching Gregorich, an Altoona High School graduate, grow with the team.
"She's a pistol of a kid," the coach said. "She's part of every play in practice. She always attacks the basket. She plays with a sense of confidence and insane competitiveness that is hard to find."
Hovet also said to keep an eye out for House, who will be a big benefit under the hoop for the Falcons.
The Falcons played the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison in an exhibition game Sunday. Eleven players got to see court time, including all of the five freshmen who suited up: Dohrn, Gregorich, Holst, House and Roedel.
Dohrn led all rebounders with 11 boards while Holst had several heads-up defensive plays, and Gregorich did a good job commanding the court from the point guard spot. Hilt led the Falcons in scoring with 12 points in the 71-38 loss.
Hovet said the team used the exhibition game against the Badgers as a way to perfect its weaknesses.
"This team is really committed to each other," she said. "That's something every coach loves to see."