SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara women's basketball begins the 2018-19 season with an exhibition against Academy of Art in Leavey Center Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Head coach Bill Carr, entering his third year at the helm, will have several new weapons with the addition of freshmen Lindsey VanAllen and Lexie Pritchard, junior college transfer Tia Hay as well as transfers Lauren Yearwood, Erica Meyer, and Joeseta Fatuesi who had to sit out 2017-18 due to NCAA transfer rules, and redshirt freshman Madison Piper.
Another addition will be 2017 All-WCC selection Emily Wolph who was injured after just one game last year. In 2016-17 she led the Broncos in scoring and the West Coast Conference in 3-pointers made.
"This team coming up for the season, we are going to be much deeper than we were last year," Carr said. "We are going to be able to play faster. The ball is going to be moving around the floor a lot quicker, and I believe we're going to shoot the ball better-- with the likes of Emily [Wolph], Tia [Hay], Lindsey [VanAllen], Lexie [Pritchard], Ashlyn [Herlihy], Dru [Toleafoa], and Lauren [Yearwood]. We have a group that can put the ball in the basket. Combine that with low post play from Joeseta, Erica and Tamia and add the ability to drive the basketball with Naomi, we're going have a pretty balanced scoring team."
The three transfers, as well as returner Tamia Braggs, will add an element on both sides of the ball that was missing at times last season.
"We have depth in the front court with Joeseta [Fatuesi], Erica [Meyer], Tamia [Braggs], and Lauren. That gives us four skilled, tough, long people inside, which will help greatly on defense and certainly will put pressure on the offensive end," Carr said.
Another issue last year was the injury to Wolph left Santa Clara was without a backup point guard for much of the season.
"This year's version also will have more ballhandlers," Carr said. "We're going to have multiple lineups where we're going to have two or three people who can handle the ball, which will obviously be the opposite of what we had last year when we put all that pressure on Kyla [Martin]. I like the fact that we have girls who can play multiple positions in the back court."
The top returning scorer is Ashlyn Herlihy who scored 8.5 points per game a year ago with 5.0 rebounds per game as well. Charise Holloway returns for her senior season, and second with Santa Clara, after leading the team in 3-pointers made while scoring 7.5 ppg.
"Our depth will help in a lot of different areas but will certainly help our players to go as hard as they can for as long as they can, and then somebody will come in and do the same things and that's what a team is," Carr said. "That's what we saw in Costa Rica-- the building of a team and the trust of a team. The depth will certainly help that."
Despite the struggles of a year ago, the Broncos are ready to put 2017-18 in the rearview mirror.
"Whether you have a great year or a year where you struggle, you never are the same team the following year," Carr said. "So, we all know that. I think the team knows that. The staff certainly knows that. We're really excited what we have in the locker room - the care, the personalities and the talent going into this year."
The regular season tipsoff Tuesday, Nov. 6 with a home game against Sonoma State at 7 p.m. and the Broncos are ready for a memorable season.
"If you asked me at the end of the year if we had a successful season, everybody on the roaster is improving, if we can look back and I can say in every game we played everything we had and we let the chips fall where they will, have no regret in practice or games and prepare the same way for the thirty odd games were going to play, that's a successful season," Carr said.
Tickets: Season or single-game tickets are available. Click here to purchase online or contact the ticket office weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (408) 554-4660 or BroncoTickets@scu.edu. Group discounts are also available through our ticket office sales and service consultants. Gates to Stevens Stadium, as well as its ticket office, are open one hour prior to the start of the match.
Parking: For weekday matches, the Leavey Center lot, located on Accolti Way off El Camino Real, is free beginning one hour prior to tipoff. Any other parking facility on campus will be subject to normal daily rates or restrictions, including the main structure, located adjacent to Stevens Stadium on Palm Drive. During the weekend, campus parking facilities are free (except for permit required locations). Click here for a campus map and parking restrictions.
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