Wesleyan Women's Basketball 2016-17 Season Preview

Photo by Steve McLaughlin
Photo by Steve McLaughlin

2016-17 SEASON OUTLOOK

The Wesleyan University women's basketball team opens its 2016-17 season this Saturday, Nov. 19 with the two-day Emerson Tip-Off Tournament. The Cardinals' slate features 10 home games and 12 away contests, including three regular season tournaments.

Entering her 25th season at the helm of the women's basketball program, Head Coach Kate Mullen is just six wins away from 400 career victories, and currently ranks 36th all-time in the Division III women's basketball ranks. Mullen and the Cardinals look to replicate last year's strong start to the season, in which they went 6-1, and eye a return to the NESCAC Tournament.

MEET THE TEAM

  • The 2016-17 Cardinals return eight players from last year's squad. Headlining the group are co-captains, senior guard Danielle Gervacio and junior forward Maddie Bledsoe.
  • Gervacio was the team's leader in assists a year ago, averaging 3.1 per game, as she started 21 of the team's 22 contests. Her 28.5 minutes per game were second to guard Maeve Vitale '18, who averaged 29.9 per contest. The duo will lead the backcourt once again this winter, as they look to build on their performance from a year ago. In addition to leading the team in assists, Gervacio also ranked fourth in scoring (7.5 ppg), while Vitale finished second in both scoring (8.5 ppg) and assists (2.1 apg).
  • Senior Lauren Gaj, junior Kadijah Mathews, and sophomores Chynna Bailey and Olivia Gorman will provide depth to the guard position.
  • The frontcourt will have to fill the void left by the team's top scorer a year ago, Kaylie Williams '16, who graduated in the spring. Looking to step up in her absence will be Bledsoe and sophomore Tara Berger, who finished with 7.4 and 6.4 points per game, respectively. Berger also led the team in blocks as a freshman, with 1.6 per game, while finishing third in rebounds (5.0 rpg). 
  • Mullen also welcomes three freshman newcomers; Remi French, Heidi Scarth and Ava Tompkins. French and Scarth provide much needed height for the Cardinals, as they each stand at 6-2.

HEAD COACH KATE MULLEN

"The coaching staff and I are excited about the energy, attitude and focus that this year's team brings to the court. Our approach to this season is a commitment to daily improvement not only in practices, but in games as we build towards the highly competitive NESCAC schedule."