SEASON PREVIEW: WILMINGTON
A fresh start all around could be the medicine for the Wilmington Lady Greyhounds to overcome last season's disappointing 5-19 finish. And that's what they have.
First-year coach Katie Demedal not only brings a fresh face to the Lady Hounds, but also a sense of familiarity. Demedal starred as a four-year letterwinner for the Lady 'Hounds before moving on to play at nearby Westminster College, where she was at for three years before finishing at Washington & Jefferson.
Demedal replaces Erin Borowicz, who spent three years at the helm for the Lady 'Hounds.
The most glaring hole left in the Wilmington lineup is that left by 1,000-point scorer and rebounder Janelle Whiting, but Wilmington will also miss Martha McGrath, Julie Wilson and Jodi Peterson, all lost to graduation.
Returning to start this year, however, is what should be a strong nucleus of mainly underclass talent which Demedal said has worked the hardest. Probable starters include junior shooting guard Jessica Reiber (5-9), senior guard Tanya White (5-7) and junior forward Jamie Thomas (5-9). Adding to the mix will be freshman starting center Kylie Mackaness (5-10).
Senior Abby Anderson (5-5) will see some time at point guard, but sophomore Elissa Marti (5-6) and freshman Brittany McFarlane are likely to log most of the minutes at point, according to Demedal. Sophomore Emily Elder (5-8) should also see a fair amount of playing time,
"We're very young," Demedal said. "The ones that have been working hard are the ones that will play for me, and that may be different from what they're used to. The seniors have to earn their spots."
Demedal said she approached the season with a clean-slate mentality, and that may have paid off already.
"They've come a long way," she said. "They didn't know a lot of the basics when I got here. I'm working with some of the younger players. I hate to say it, but this is a rebuilding year for us."
Demedal said that starting with modest expectations could be a key for Lady Hounds.
"If we watch our turnovers we'll be OK. Our goal is a .500 season and steady improvement," she said. "The program is very bottom-heavy right now. We're just starting out. I think the girls sort of resisted at first, but I think that we're past that now and they're receptive. They just have to get their confidence back."
Demedal, who had not coached before, said she volunteered for the job and eventually got it.
"I saw the potential there," she said. "By a stroke of luck the spot was open and I got it. The better you want to be and the team wants to be, the more time you want to put in, and that makes it worth it." -- By Herald sports writer Nate Summers
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