Women use last season as motivation

Erin Elfeldt

As the season for snow gets closer, the start of the Quinnipiac University Women’s Basketball 2003-2004 season gets closer and closer.

The Bobcats had a great season last year finishing with 14 wins and 4 losses in their conference, the NEC. The team was 18-9 during the regular season.

The team had many achievements from last year which they can build upon. The team posted one of the top team grade point averages in Division 1, ranking 13th in the country, with a collective team grade point average of 3.36. The Bobcats were the highest ranked team in the poll from New England, and one of the top in the east coast. Quinnipiac was also only one of 14 schools in the poll to post a winning record. Senior Sara Esidore, an Information Styles major, was named Division 1-AAA NACDA Scholar Athlete and Verizon Academic All District 1 Team. Esidore also reached 1,000 points for her career last season. Senior Ashlee Kelly was named NEC Women’s Basketball player of the year while also reaching 1,000 points in her career.

The team, ranked second in the NEC at the end of the regular season, had high hopes for the conference tournament. In the opening round, the Bobcats played the Retrievers of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County who were ranked seventh in the conference. After playing a seesaw first half, the Bobcats were up 27-26 at the half. When the second half began, UMBC came out with a spark, going on a 14-4 run, giving the Retreivers the largest lead of the game at nine points. Quinnipiac was able to cut the lead down to three with 6:27 left in the second. Then UMBC went on a 9-2 scoring run. The Bobcats were not able to recover as they missed nine shots from the field in the last two minutes while UMBC covered all nine of the free throws they attempted. The Retreivers advanced 66-47. The loss dropped the Bobcats to 18-10 on the season.

The Bobcats leading scorers from last season were Kelly, Esidore, and Kelly Kielty who averaged 16.5, 15.6, and 9.0 points per game, respectively. Kelly was also the team leader in rebounding a year ago grabbing 338 total rebounds, 12.1 per game. Megan Rooney was the team leader in assists with 73. Esidore also led the team in 3-pointers made and attempted and minutes played per game with 33.5.

“Sara is the kind of player we compare our recruits to. She’s been a mark for our program. She’s a quiet but committed player that has definitely grown to be comfortable with the ‘go-to player’ role,” said head coach Tricia Sacca-Fabbri.

The Bobcats first game this season at home will be against the Yale University Bulldogs on Friday, November 21 at 7:00 PM. The Bobcats defeated the Bulldogs last season by a three point margin. The game produced an abundant amount of rebounds for Kelly and Megan Smith and thanks to remarkable shooting by Esidore and Kelly, the Bobcats were able to pull out the victory.

“Ashlee is our everything,” said Sacca-Fabbri. “She is so dangerous on either end of the floor, so teams have to worry about her all the time. She’s one of the few players in the league that can dominate a game.”

With two freshman, four sophomores, four juniors and four seniors, the team is a fairly established squad with a lot of experience going into this upcoming season.

The women’s basketball team’s task is to encourage women’s basketball by uniting coaches at all levels to obtain a highly regarded reputation for the sport and to advance and encourage the expansion of the game in every way.