Coming off their best season in eight years, the Lady Jeffs are looking forward to another exciting season of Amherst basketball. The team returns its top five scorers and rebounders from their 18-7 season, one cut short in the semi-finals of the ECAC Tournament with a loss to the eventual champion.
Boasting young and talented athletes, the depth of the team is evident in the scoring spread. 5'9"- sophomore Janinne Noel leads the team with her 11.8 ppg, but is followed closely by her 6'0" classmate Katie Hersey with 10.7 ppg. Rounding out the top five are juniors Nora McCartney and Sarah Rinaldi (8.8 ppg each) and 6'1" senior Sam Ince (5.4 ppg).
Co-Captains Ince and Kate Sullivan are two of the three seniors on this freshman-sophomore dominated team. Along with 5'10" Molly Auth, the Class of '97 will provide the leadership for the squad. "They've been through different types of seasons," noted Head Coach Billy McBride, "and we need them to continue the success that the younger players know. Mixing the old program with the new, we can excel and help others to develop."
Over the last three seasons, the seniors have experienced two years of losing records before last year's winning streak. As witnesses to the rebuilding of the women's basketball program, the three seniors have high hopes for their final campaign, yet they are grounded in the efforts they've made to come this far. "We're expecting success," projected McBride, "but we're going to have to work for it."
Aiming to improve on last year's record, the Jeffs will have to stay focused in their 15-road games this season. However, with a determined and enthusiastic team, Amherst women's basketball has already been working hard in the off-season to surpass their level of achievement in '96.
A new floor for LeFrak Gymnasium will help to keep the team healthy this season. Made of state-of-the-art material, the 60% shock-absorbency will minimize the knee and back aches caused by the old cement floor.