?Don?t quote me.?
That was the refrain echoed by much of the women?s basketball team when approached for thoughts on the upcoming season. And coming off of a 3?22 campaign, 0?14 in the UAA, in 2003?04, it is understandable why they might want some anonymity.
The Tartans began their quest to reverse last year?s abysmal performance with a 66?54 loss to University of Pittsburgh ?Titusville in an exhibition game Saturday at the Petersen Events Center. Fifth-year senior captain Carissa Sain led the Tartans with 15 points. CMU brought a lead into halftime with a high-pressure defense that yielded numerous turnovers and subsequent fast-break baskets. In the end, though, Pitt?s size advantage proved insurmountable and the Panthers ran away with the game on a late flurry of offensive rebounds and putbacks.
The Tartans return all but one starter this year and have added capable first-years Leah Feola and Taryn Humphries. Most important, though, is the return of Sain, who missed all of last year with a broken ankle. She was a first-team all-UAA selection in 2002?2003, when she led the team with a scoring average of 14 points per game.
Head coach Gerri Seidel expects Sain?s return to make the difference this year. She is quoted on the school?s website as saying, ?The returning veteran players were not satisfied with last year?s results. They worked hard in the off season to improve their skills and physical condition. The veterans combined with the athletic freshman class are a stepping stone towards building a successful season.?
The Tartans open the regular season with a tournament at LaRoche College November 19 and 20 against lightly regarded Goucher and LaRoche. But Seidel is careful not to underestimate any team, especially after last year?s performance, saying, ?All the UAA games are a battle. It doesn?t matter what place you are in when it comes to game time, because there is a lot of parity within the Association.?