The Elizabethtown College women’s basketball team is looking to improve beyond its 2012-2013 record as it enters its second season under the direction of Head Coach Sherri Gorman. Last season, the Jays finished with a 15-11 overall record and were 11-7 in the Commonwealth Conference before being knocked out of the Commonwealth Conference semifinals by Messiah College.
In the 2013-2014 preseason coaches poll, Etown finished fifth, behind Lebanon Valley College (LVC), Messiah College, Widener University and Albright College . LVC received six of the 10 possible first place votes and was chosen to repeat as Commonwealth Conference Champion.
The Blue Jays are lead by seniors Taylor Kreider and Kendra Beittel. Kreider put up a team-best 15.9 points per game (ppg) last season, while Beittel recorded 10.0 ppg. They are only two players to average double figures and both Kreider and Beittel received All-Commonwealth Conference honors last season. The seniors will be helped by the two top scorers from last season: junior Taylor Alwine and sophomore Rachel Forjan, who averaged 8.9 ppg and 8.2, ppg respectively.
The Jays open their season this weekend at the Terry Greene Memorial Tournament held at Franklin and Marshall College. Their first home game won’t be until Wednesday, Dec. 4 when they host Widener in a key early season conference matchup.
Gorman is looking to improve her first season record of 15-11 with a good returning roster. When asked about the upcoming season, Gorman stated, “We are very excited about our upcoming season. The women have worked hard in the off season and we are ready to put our skills and abilities to the test this weekend at the F&M Tournament.”
The Jays have a strong core of players returning to the roster this season. With four top scorers returning, Etown looks to knock off the four teams that are above them in the coaches preseason poll. Kreider spoke about her high expectations for the season by saying, “I think we should do really well this season. I expect to be one of the top teams in the conference. This is our last year in the MAC, so I think that we all want to go out on a really good note and are hoping for the best.”
Her confidence comes as Gorman begins to solidify herself as the second Etown women’s basketball coach since 1970. “This is the second year with Gorman so I believe not having to go through another new coach transition puts us in a better spot starting off than last season,” Kreider said.
As the team tips off their season, Gorman is fired up and ready to get back to the winning ways of last season. She also believes that fan support is key for any athletic contest. “I encourage everyone to come out and support the women this season,” she said. The women’s first home game tip-off is set 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4 as the Jays take on conference opponent Widener.