By Anthony Caruso
The women’s basketball team will return to the court on Saturday, Nov. 14. They’ll kick off the season playing in the DeSales University Tip-Off Tournament in Center Valley, Pa., where the Lions will see competition from Widener University, the University of Scranton and DeSales.
The team will take on its first opponent in the tournament, the University of Scranton, in hopes of securing a spot in the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m.
The Lions will play their first home game on Tuesday, Nov. 17, when they face Moravian College at 7 p.m. These games will mark the beginning of the final season for the team’s seniors: guards Angelica Esposito and Jess Lynch and forward Christina Merlin.
Esposito led the team in scoring last season averaging 12.2 points and three rebounds per game.
Merlin was fourth on last season’s squad with 7.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest and Lynch averaged four points and 3.3 rebounds during 2014-15.
The seniors will have a larger role this season, filling the gaps of key graduate players. Alumni Kelly Coughlin, Jessica Goldbach and Kylie O’Donnell played their final games last season against Montclair State University in the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament.
Coughlin is currently in the police academy training to be a police officer with the New Canaan Police Department in Connecticut.
The team is welcoming three new freshmen this year. Guard Kate O’Leary hails from Trumbull High School in Connecticut — Coughlin’s alma mater. Forward Allie Dunn comes to the College from Joseph Hill Academy in Staten Island, N.Y. Guard Aly Baggitt joins the team from South Hunterdon Regional in Stockton, N.J.
After the new year, the team will play seven home games including Senior Day, on Wednesday, Feb. 10, against the Ramapo University Roadrunners.
The Lions look to make a competitive run in the NJAC playoffs in the post-season after missing a bid by just a few points last season.