North Andover, Mass. – The Merrimack women's basketball team will open their season on Tuesday night as they will travel to take on the Franklin Pierce Ravens in their first regular season game of the season. Tip is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.
Merrimack won their lone exhibition game last week as they downed Fisher College 95-26 while the Ravens enter the game with a 2-0 record after downing Nyack in their season opener and winning on Saturday afternoon by the score of 69-54 over the University of Sciences.
The Warriors are coming off a 2011-12 season in which they finished with a record of 5-21 overall and a 4-18 mark inside the Northeast-10 conference. The Warriors were left out of the NE-10 playoffs as they finished in 15th place overall.
The Warriors dropped both contests against the Ravens last season including a 14 point loss in their conference opening matchup.
The Warriors basketball team returns a solid core of players from last year's team, including leading scorer and rebounder from last season, senior captain Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, CT). Schatzlein averaged a team-high 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest, making her one of two players in the NE-10 to average a double-double for the season. Schatzlein finished the season ranking third in the conference in field goal percentage and totaled 15 double-doubles on the season.
Fellow senior captain Katie Ganser (Needham, Mass.) will be looked to for leadership and some improved play this season after averaging 3.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest last season. The third and final senior on this year's squad, Jaclyn Lyons (Reading, Mass.), will also be looked to for some big minutes this season after posting 5.5 points and 2.0 rebounds per game last year.
The sophomore class will be relied on heavily this season for some production as Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) will look to lead the Warriors offense once again after averaging 8.9 points, a team-high 5.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds as a freshman. Allison Wagner(Center Conway, NH) will be looked to for an offensive spark as she nailed a team-high 35 three pointers last season and averaged 6.6 points per game. Forwards Melissa Miller(North Andover, Mass.) and Cassie Amenta (Lynn, Mass.) will need to build off their freshman year's which saw them average 1.8 points and 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest respectively.
Merrimack will also welcome five new players this season including four freshmen and one transfer junior. The Warriors added size with the additions of center Madison Ward (Binghamton, NY) and Shelby Secor (Antioch, Calif.) and some speed with the additions of Ashley Weissmann (Highland, Calif.), Tia Scott (New York, NY) and Lia Nawn (Bedford, NH).
The Warriors are being led this year by second year head coach Monique LeBlanc who returns to North Andover with a young team of nine underclassmen and three seniors.
Merrimack opens up its 2012-13 regular season schedule with four straight road games, including a game against #2 Bentley on Nov. 20. Eight of the next 10 games will be played at Bert Hammel Court as the Warriors will try to improve on their home record of 3-11 from a season ago.
Eight of the final 13 games for the Warriors will be played on the road including four of the final six.