October 31, 2007
2007-08 Season Preview
The Slugs finished the 2006-07 season with one of the strongest finishes in school history. They ended the season with a 10-15 regular season record (10-17 overall), reaching the double digit mark for the first time in four seasons. Finishing the second half of season with a 7-4 mark, the Slugs hope to continue with this momentum leading into the 2007-08 season.
Entering the season, the UCSC Women's Basketball team is bigger than ever. Not only is it the largest squad in school history, but it is also one of the tallest. This season, head coach Nikki Turner is carrying fifteen players on the roster, of which seven players are over 5'10". Of the fifteen, the team is made up of eight returners (seniors pictured above) and seven new players.
Of the returning eight players, three are returning starters. Senior, Talia Joyce, will enter the season once again leading the team as point guard. Joyce ended the season averaging 7.6 ppg, 3 assists per game, and 3 rebounds and is third in the record book for free-throw percentage at .743. Junior guard Kayleigh Calandri is also returning for her third season with the Slugs. Calandri is entering the season as one of the key players to watch out for. She has already found herself 10th on the All-Time scoring list for UCSC, with 655 points; well on her way to hitting the 1,000 mark (no other player has done this in school history). Calandri is also second in most points in a season with 333 and is first in free-throw percentage at .821. Junior Melissa Junge rounds off the returning starters entering her second season with the Slugs. Junge finished the season averaging 8.0 ppg and 5.8 rebounds, while shooting .514 from the field, putting her third in the record books.
The other returners for the Slugs are seniors Mia Cruz, Sarah Adamson, and Zabia Geisreiter. Both Cruz and Adamson worked extremely hard in the off season and are coming into this season focused and ready to help lead the Slugs to another successful season. Geisreiter, who had two ankle surgeries last year, has been spending her time rehabbing and is looking to get back into action shortly after the start of the season. Sophomores, Molly Davisson and Iveth Cuellar, round off the returners for the Slugs. "Both of these players worked extremely hard in the off season", states Turner. "I'm excited to see what they will do this season."
Along with the eight returners are seven new faces. All are freshman with the exception of Sophomore Jessica Andrusaitis. Andrusaitis is transferring into UCSC from Butte Junior College. "I am really excited to add Jess to our roster", says Turner. "She is going to come in and contribute right away. I believe she has the potential to be the player that people will begin talking about as we go through our season." Along with Andrisaitis, Coach Turner has filled her roster with five new freshmen. Freshman guards, Libby Grace and Mikaela Medeiros are entering the season as two shooters that will hopefully continue to help the Slugs improve their offensive game. The other freshman guard is Zakiya Sharpe. With her speed and athleticism, she is sure to contribute a lot for the Slugs both offensively and defensively. Rounding out the freshman are two new post players in Lauren Nixon and Lydia Andrews. With their size and experience and both coming from successful high school programs, these twin towers are sure to help the front line for the Slugs.
"We do have some great experience, but we are also very young", states Turner. "But I believe the freshmen have some great leaders to learn from, and as they adjust to the college game, I feel that we really have the group of athletes that will continue to help turn this program around."