2003-04 Women's Basketball
Look for continued improvement in 2003-04 season
By Scott Van Eman, SID assistant
November 7, 2003
Amanda Curtis entered her first season as head women's basketball last year with two goals in mind; improve the work ethic and dedication of the women's basketball program. With the 2003-04 basketball preseason just underway, Curtis has already seen those goals of a year ago become realities in this year's squad.
"The players that stayed here this year are a great group. They enjoy the game and want to be a part of the basketball program at Bluffton." With a sound foundation having been forged by Curtis last season, this year's team will look for continuous improvement as well as a better finish in the Heartland Conference.
One significant hurdle the Beavers will face this year will be keeping players healthy. With just 10 players on the team this season the Beavers will need to avoid injuries and will need production on the court from every team member. "Everyone will get playing time this season giving each player the chance to grow through game experience." The team has taken this challenge head on, developing a "bring it on" attitude that has set the tone for a successful preseason.
Leading the Beavers this season will be seniors Lindsay Bacon and Kelsey Studer. Bacon (6.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 16 three-pointers) and Studer (0.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg) are already setting an example for hard work and dedication for this year's team. Both players will be key components on and off the court for Bluffton this season. Curtis is expecting Bacon to be Bluffton's most consistent scorer this season.
Juniors Christina Champion (0.8 ppg, 0.9 rpg) and Lindsey Delscamp (1.5 ppg, 0.3 rpg) are currently making the transition into impact players this preseason. Curtis said of Champion and Delscamp, "Both have done very well during conditioning and will have to continue to become comfortable in their new playing roles."
The sophomore and freshman class will be the core of Bluffton's post position players and will contribute around the perimeter this season. Sophomore Michelle DeVault will see a lot more time for the Beavers, playing both inside and out. Sophomore Karin Schaller (2.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 17 blocks) will be the Beavers' most prominent post player this season. "She worked very hard in the off-season and it has made a huge difference in her game. She has to be a presence inside and under the basket for us this season," said Curtis. Also helping the Beavers out in the post this season will be freshmen Ashly Vanscoy (New Vienna/East Clinton H.S.) and Carrie Veisbecker (Okeana/Russ H.S.) Freshman Tanya Rikenberg (Defiance/Paulding H.S.) has the difficult position of stepping into the point guard role for Bluffton but Curtis is confident in her abilities, "Tanya is a good competitor with great vision and decision making abilities on the court."
Things are beginning to fall in place for the Bluffton College women's basketball team. Leaders are emerging and roles are being defined. A balanced perimeter and low post offensive attack are being developed. A "bring it on" mentality is providing the confidence needed to compete in the Heartland Conference and a sound foundation built on dedication and hard work has been established. When November 21st comes around, bet on the Beavers being ready to improve again this season.