BC, six seniors, expecting big things

By Tim Stried, SID
November 9, 2000

Returning their entire roster from last season's squad that finished third in the Heartland Conference, the Bluffton College women's basketball team is expecting big things for the 2000-01 season. And leading the way are six talented seniors that all have been varsity performers for most of their career at BC.

"We have 12 very good players on the team and it will be important that they accept and play their role," said Head Coach Michele Durand. "We were able to play quite a few young players last season which I hope will help us this season."

Ten different players started at least one game last season and Bluffton overcame injuries and sickness to post a 7-5 HCAC record and advance to the semi-finals of the HCAC tournament. The Beavers hosted and won their HCAC first round tournament game over Manchester last season.

The list of returning players includes a pair of all-league selections from last season, including 1999-00 HCAC Freshman of the Year Kristin Helvey at point guard. Helvey led the HCAC in assists with 115 and led all freshmen in scoring with 12.0 points per game.

Also a second-team All-HCAC selection, senior Elizabeth Snavely returns at a post position. Snavely was named to the HCAC All-Tournament team last season and led Bluffton in scoring with 15.3 points per game.

Six seniors on this year's team are ready to lead Bluffton to the top of the Heartland Conference. "All of our seniors are quality student-athletes and will be vital to our success this season," said Durand. "However, it will take everyone understanding their roles and sticking together on and off the court for us to be successful."

In addition to Snavely, seniors Liz Bock, Jen Bear, Kristy Crall, Bree Wood and Amy Aschemeier are all veteran players. Bock, who was lost for the season with a knee injury in the fourth game of the season, returns at a post position where she averaged 10.6 points per game as a sophomore. Bear lead BC in rebounding last season with 6.6 boards per game and averaged 8.6 points per game. Crall played the most minutes of any player last year and hit a team-high 36 three-pointers. Wood (7.8 ppg) and Aschemeier (4.7 ppg) are also 3-point threats.

"I think the HCAC will be as tough as any league in the area," said Durand. "Franklin may be the favorite going in but there really isn't a weak team in the league."

In addition to Helvey, five other sophomores return this season with varsity experience, including Michelle Ray (16 g, 6.8 ppg), Melissa James (26 g, 3.9 ppg), Lyndsey Robinson (22 g, 3.5 ppg), Kelly Stieber (15 g, 2.3 ppg) and Katie Linehan (13 g, 0.9 ppg).

Bluffton will begin their season the weekend of November 17 and 18 at the Wilmington College Tip-off Tournament.