For immediate release – 11/15/2016 -
Women's Basketball to Tip Off at Home; Season Preview Included
LYNCHBURG, VA – As with every college basketball team in the middle of November, the Randolph College women's team will begin its season this week. The WildCats will tip-off for the first time on Wednesday, with the game coming at the RAD Center.
Capital Athletic Conference member Southern Virginia University will be the first opponent of the 2016-2017 season for the 'Cats. The two programs last played each other in the fall of 2014. Things have changed for both teams in that time, but Randolph has an experienced roster ready for the challenge. Four players on the current roster – Jacqueline Hockman, Taylor Samuels, Alexis Calloway, and Daijah Johnson – combined for almost half of the WildCats' points that day, as the team won. It should be an entertaining home opener. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
During the weekend, the 'Cats will begin a long road trip which will see them play the rest of the month away from Rivermont Ave. The first two in the stretch will be at the Jean Edge Classic, hosted by North Carolina Wesleyan College. On Saturday, the WildCats play USA South Conference member Methodist University at 5 p.m. On the following day, Randolph will square off with the hosts at 4 p.m. This will be the first meeting with either school since an early season tournament in the 2009-10 season, when the 'Cats defeated NCWC by three in Arlington, VA.
Links will be provided for Wednesday. At this point, live stats are only available for Sunday's tilt. Stay tuned to randolphwildcats.com for more info.
Here are the links:
Wednesday Live Stats: http://wildcats.randolphcollege.edu/livestats/per/xlive.htm
Wednesday Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/randolph/
Sunday Live Stats: http://www.randolphwildcats.com/sports/wbkb/2016-17/boxscores/20161120_e0hg.xml
2016-2017 Season Preview
Following a spirited end to last season, the 2016-2017 edition of the Randolph College women's basketball team will feature several new faces, both on and off the court. With these new faces and several strong returners, it should provide for an exciting season.
The first new face comes on the sideline as Andrea Kendall takes over as head coach. Kendall comes to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) after spending last season as head coach at Centenary College (NJ). However, she is no stranger to the league after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant in the ODAC. Kendall's experience will continue the growth of the program.
Before getting to the new players on the roster, it is important to mention the key returners for the team, especially with three starters coming back to the fold. Leading the way is forward Korin Harris (Brandywine, MD/ Elizabeth Seton). Harris is the leading returning scorer and rebounder at 10.4 points and six rebounds per game. She will look to improve on those totals in her senior year.
Two players will look to rejoin Harris in the starting lineup, with both coming in the backcourt. Taylor Samuels (Springfield, VA/ West Springfield) was the only WildCat to start every game last season, and will look to continue that success as a junior. She is a strong defender who chipped in over six points per game. Along with Samuels is stalwart Jacqueline Hockman (Manassas, VA/ Osbourn). Hockman averaged 7.4 points per game, and finished the season with an impressive double-double in the ODAC tournament. Hockman is on pace to play in the most games in the history of the program and will look to have her best season as a senior.
To go with those three returning starters, seven others also come back to the fold. Brie Holdren (Bedford, VA/ Staunton River) and Darian Thornton (Christiansburg, VA/ Christiansburg) are the other seniors for coach Kendall and the staff. Holdren missed the first half of last season but was a key cog in the second half. Her ability to score from inside and out will be important for the team. Thornton provides important depth off the bench. She helps inside and is a great defensive option.
The team welcomes back five juniors as well. Daijah Johnson (Beltsville, MD/ St. Vincent Pallotti), Maura McMahon (Blacksburg, VA/ Blacksburg) and Lauren Moore (Silver Spring, MD/ Springbrook) provide excellent depth in the backcourt. Johnson missed some time last year due to an injury, but was an explosive scorer when healthy. McMahon and Moore add quickness and toughness to the team.
Alexis Calloway (Williamsburg, VA/ Bruton) and Camille Gallagher (Chapel Hill, NC/ Carrboro) provide support up top. Calloway is a strong rebounder and defender, who does an excellent job scoring around the basket. Gallagher uses her speed and length to get things done, while also stretching the floor with her ability to drive and shoot.
Along with the returners, the WildCats also welcome six newcomers. Two transfers highlight that group, bringing extra experience to this Randolph roster. Jessica Boney (Hopewell, VA/ Hopewell) comes in as a junior after playing guard for two years at Harcum College. Her defending and scoring will come in handy, while her leadership will also be important as she served as a captain at HC. Danielle Rizzari (Winchester, VA/ James Wood) spent last season with Division II Minot State University. She was a three-season captain in high school and all-conference performer, who will be looking to show what she can do on the court.
The class is rounded out by three first years and one sophomore. Kolby Parrott (Boyce, VA/ Clarke County) moves over from the indoor track and field team after running for the 'Cats last season. However, she was an all-district and all-region performer in high school and is aiming to display those talents. Kalyn Banks (Clinton, MD/ From The Heart Christian School) is another guard with great skills. She pushed her team to many different titles in high school and will look to continue that success in college. Kiana Scott (Charlottesville, VA/ Monticello) is a strong guard, who made a big impact in high school. She was an all-district performer for three years and will add great depth to this team. Jennifer Weigle (Mechanicsville, VA/ Atlee) rounds out the group, but is not to be slated in any way. She provides another strong option in the backcourt after having a stellar high school career.
With the combination of the newcomers, including Coach Kendall, and the group of returners, it should prove to be an exciting year for the WildCats.