MERRIMACK SEEKS OUT ANOTHER NORTHEAST-10 CONFERENCE APPEARANCE
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Coming off a remarkable single-season turnaround and a magical postseason run last winter, the Merrimack College women's basketball team is set to head out on the road and open the 2013-14 season against Mansfield University on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Warriors return a solid core of players from last year's team, including a leading scorer and rebounder from last season.
Co-captains Chloe Rothman (Newton, Mass.) and Allison Wagner (Center Conway, N.H) will be leading this veteran squad that consists of two freshmen, two transfers, and eight upperclassmen, all of whom will play a role in the success of this year's squad.
With the high level of experience, third-year head coach Monique LeBlanc has high expectations for this year's team as they aim to make another Northeast-10 Conference Championship appearance.
The team is looking to build on a 17-12 finish last season, one that represented a 12-win improvement from the previous season and also stood as the best season-to-season turnaround in the country last winter. The Warriors finished 8-7 on the road and posted a home record of 8-5. Making the season that much more memorable was the team's incredible postseason run, as the No. 10 seed, in the Northeast-10 Championship, which saw Merrimack post upset victories against Pace and second-seeded Stonehill en route to its appearance in the NE-10 Semifinals.
Leading the Warriors' offense in 2013-14 will be Rothman, who comes off a great last season as a guard ranking second on the team averaging 12.5 points per game. Some of Rothman's heroics included a career-high 34 points against Southern Connecticut last January to help lead the team to an overtime road victory. In addition to her success, Chloe led the team with 124 assists on the season, and was one of the team's top 3-point and free throw shooters.
Wagner appeared in 25 games as a sophomore and finished fourth on the team in free throw percentage (.700). Weissmann finished fourth on the team with 8.6 points per game, and also ranked second from 3-point range (.385). Scott, meanwhile, finished second on the team with 92 assists and averaged 5.6 ppg. Also aiming to make an impact will be freshmen newcomers Caitlyn Garger (Hicksville, N.Y.), Michelle Obach (Tyler, Texas), and sophomore transfer Lexi Sells (Attleboro, Mass.).
Leading the group is senior forward Shelby Secor (Antioch, Calif.), who appeared in 26 games for the Warriors and is a definite threat for Merrimack. Secor finished last season third on team with 90 rebounds, while registering 23 steals. Veteran Melissa Miller (North Andover, Mass.) is expected to make an impact on and off the court.
Adding more depth to the Warrior lineup is Cassi Amenta (Lynn, Mass.). She ranked second on the team with 93 rebounds, while averaging 2.7 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game. Newcomer Aria Johnson (Los Osos, Calif.) will hope to make an impact in the starting line up at the forward position.
Sophomore center Madison Ward (Binghamton, N.Y) will look to build on what has already been a great career thus far. The Binghamton, N.Y. native averaged 1.8 points per game, 1.3 rebounds per game, and posted two blocks.
Merrimack opens the 2013-14 campaign Saturday, Nov. 9, on the road at Mansfield at 1 p.m. The Warriors' home opener is set for Saturday, Nov. 23, against Franklin Pierce.