TIGERVILLE, SC—The North Greenville University women’s basketball team, led by head coach Jayne Arledge, officially opens the 2007-08 season today, October 15, with an afternoon practice session in Hayes Gymnasium. The Lady Crusaders return nine letterwinners and four starters from last year’s squad that went 22-12 and reached the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.
“We are really excited about starting the first day of practice, as we always are,” remarked Arledge. “You get to throw the team out there and see what mixture comes out.”
The mixture should please Arledge and new assistant coach Scott Moore. The Crusaders return Eboni Davis, an NCCAA All-American selection last season as a freshman. Davis led the team in scoring with 12.9 points per game, while shooting 46% from the field. Arledge also returns two NCCAA All-Tournament selections in Amanda Milner and Robin Warner. Milner, a 6-1 junior center, averaged 11.1 points per game in 2006-07, while pulling in 5.5 rebounds per game. Warner, a 5-6 junior guard, contributed 9.1 points per game last season.
“We have a good mixture with quality players coming back in Eboni, Amanda, and Robin,” said Arledge. “Nikki Wood ran the point really well for us as a freshman last year, and Debbie Wyatt seems to have stepped up her game in the offseason.”
Wyatt is the lone senior on a team looking for leadership. “The key for us this season will be if we have someone step into a leadership role and really take charge,” notes Arledge.
The Lady Crusaders add four new faces to the team this season. Trish Polito and Brandy Smith are freshmen, while Jaleesa Gladden joins the squad after transferring from Central Florida Community College. Bridgett Smith, a Crusader women’s soccer player, also joins the team this season.
Arledge expects a lot out of her team this season. “We have some lofty goals this year. We would like to win 25 games, three more than our total last season, and the NCCAA National Championship is out there that we haven’t conquered yet.”
The Crusaders open exhibition play November 2 at Furman University before tipping off the 2007-08 regular season campaign November 15 at home against Limestone.