SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University women's basketball team begins preseason training today, holding the first of 30 team practices prior to its official season-opener Friday, November 11 at home against Cal State Bakersfield.
"We are very excited to start the season and to get started on the year to come," said fourth-year Santa Clara head coach Jennifer Mountain. "The next few weeks we will be implementing our defensive system. Basic fundamentals and other points of emphasis will be addressed from the beginning, with the intent of identifying who we are, and how we want to play."
Mountain is armed with a talented and proven backcourt. Senior guard Alyssa Shoji is on pace to shatter Santa Clara's all-time three-point record. All-league junior Meagan Fulps has averaged 11-plus points per game in each of the last two seasons. Sophomore Ricki Radanovich was tabbed as one of the West Coast Conference's best young players, earning WCC All-Freshman Team honors a year ago.
The program is also welcoming in one of the nation's top recruiting classes. The class includes guards Nici Gilday and Tyler Woods along with frontcourt players Vanessa Leo (sister of current SCU teammate Lindsay Leo) and Colleen Rooney.
"I am excited to see how our new freshmen adapt to our system and how we look together in a team scheme," added Mountain. "The past few weeks we've focused on individual work and now we can turn our attention to our team approach and where we actually are as a core group. I feel this team has the ability to play a much faster pace and we will rely on a lot of different players to contribute to this year's success."
Along with returning its starting backcourt, Santa Clara welcomes back seven other letterwinners: the before-mentioned Lindsay Leo, veteran guards Ashley Armstrong and Telisha Anderson, 6-foot 4-inch center Ruta Zurauskyte, sophomores Iman Scott and Arteivia Lilomaiava and Noe Viloria, who has made a successful return following a season-ending injury last year.
Mountain also added former WNBA player and record-setting UC Santa Barbara alumnus Stacy Clinesmith to the coaching staff this offseason.
A year ago, SCU posted a winning record against WCC teams on its home floor and tied for fourth in the league standings. The Broncos are set to begin the new season by playing five of six on their home floor at the Leavey Center. For the complete 2011-12 schedule CLICK HERE.
Season tickets start at just $40 for youth/seniors and $50 for adults. For the best value, purchase a Family Plan for $100. The Family Plan includes two adult and three youth tickets to each and every home game. Tickets are available for purchase online at SantaClaraBroncos.com/buytickets or by calling the ticket office directly at 408-554-4660.