Coming into the year, Ursuline had just three players on the roster returning from the previous season: senior Ashlie Hargrove; junior Brittany Nair; and junior Elizabeth Hughes. However, Nair and Hughes only played in a combined 13 games, scoring just 11 total points.
So with Hargrove as the only senior on the roster, and the only player with any playing experience with Ursuline, the Arrows needed to find common ground and form chemistry on and off the court.
?We really had to concentrate at bonding off the court as a team, which then would hopefully transition to our play as a team on the court,? said Hargrove. ?It took some time with so many new players, but I think by the second half of the season we really started to play together.?
If having 13 new players wasn?t enough to overcome for Head Coach Nelson Schorr, injuries began to plague the team at certain points of the schedule. ?We had a lot of changes throughout the season, which forced a lot of us to play out of position,? said Hargrove. ?I am usually a combo guard, but had to move to point guard for the first time ever in my basketball career.?
Through all the high?s and low?s of the season, Coach Schorr was able to rely on the consistent play of Nair and Laura Campbell. Nair, who finished the season with three new school records, led the team and ranked 13th in the nation in scoring.
Nair had 546 points on the season, an 18.2 scoring average and converted on 187 field goals, each of which established new records for the program. She also made 94 free throws which ranked third all-time, and ranked sixth all-time with 62 three-pointers . Her season was so productive that her career point total and field goals made each rank eighth all-time, while her scoring average would establish a new program high. She also ranks fourth all-time in three-pointers made (71) and eighth in free throws made (107).
Campbell was second on the team with a 12.8 scoring average and 140 rebounds. She scored in double-figures 22 times this season, and had two different games of over 20 points, including a season-high 28 points against Daemen College on December 4, 2009.
Ursuline received tremendous effort and performance form a group of other players, but injuries throughout the season limited their time on the court. Chelsea Ciptak and Callie Brutcher guided the team defensively in the middle as the two combined for an outstanding 54 blocked shots. Ciptak had 28, while Brutcher had 26, which rank as the fourth and fifth best single-season totals in school history. In just one season, they now rank fifth and sixth all-time for blocked shots at Ursuline.
Of the 30 games in which the Arrows played, Ciptak missed eight games, while Brutcher missed 14 games. The teams third leading scorer at the midpoint of the season, Josie Smith missed the final 17 games of the season, while senior Krysti Tietze joined the team for the final 16 games of the season.
With just six players on a roster of 14 playing in all 30 games this season, transition year is an accurate description of the 2009-10 Ursuline Arrows. The good news for the Blue and Gold is that with such a new roster and a young team, the 2010-11 women?s basketball team will utilize the lessons learned this season to be well prepared for what is to come in the future.
What that future holds, and what additions can the program add through recruitment is still unknown, but with some good luck and good health, this roster of talented young women can easily rebound to make next season a exciting adventure.
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