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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Women’s Basketball Season Set To Get Underway


Photo by Kevin Ham

Led by Coach Courtney Mattingly, the women’s basketball team expects to have a good season following their 8-18 record last year. A busy off-season and some key additions further bolster the team’s confidence. They have had some hurdles to clear in the offseason, most notably not having access to their home gymnasium due to construction. The renovations have forced them to practice at Simmons College, in the same gym where they will open on Nov. 17.

“We are still very young,” Mattingly said about the team. “We are returning key starters and I think the experience our freshmen received last year and all the minutes they played last season will pay off this year. I also think we’ve added some good pieces to our team and we will look for our newcomers to contribute. Winning is a skill and we are learning how to win.”

One of the key additions is Jess Duff, who is joining the coaching staff after spending the last three seasons at Tufts University as a graduate assistant with their women’s team. When asked about Duff, Mattingly said, “She worked under one of the best coaches in our profession for the last three years, so I’m looking for her to bring some of those experiences. I’m looking for her to be a great role model for our young women. She has a lot of knowledge and experience not just in basketball but in life so I’m looking for her to share, connect and inspire our young women.”

Other personnel changes include the additions of freshmen Andrea Suffredini and Olivia Murphy. Suffredini will be starting at point guard this year. Mattingly said that her new point guard “brings maturity, confidence, a high basketball IQ and a tremendous work ethic” to the team. As for Murphy, the coach said she “is an athletic post presence that we are hoping will get us some easy scores and catch-and-finishes to take some of the attention away from [Morrison].” Both players will be key to the success of this year’s squad.

Kirsten Morrison, also known as ‘Keeks,’ is looking to build on her great freshman campaign last year when she averaged 16.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Morrison’s numbers were good enough to land her the LEC Rookie of the Year title in basketball, an honor that she also won in volleyball. Coach Mattingly believes that she has put the right combination of players around Morrison in order to take some of the heat off of her.

Lauren Perra, who averaged 11.6 points and 3.3 assists per game last year, is one of the players who will open the floor up for Morrison. The coach said that Perra “will play the 2 position for us, which will spread the floor a little more and open up the paint for our bigs to go to work.” Senior Elisa Ogawa, a native of Japan, is another player that the coach feels will be key to getting Morrison good looks.

The ladies open up against Middlebury College on Nov. 17 as part of the Beacons Tip Off Classic. The game figures to be a good indicator of future success for our young team. Middlebury is part of the NESCAC, one of the tougher conferences in the country. Coach Mattingly showed confidence in her team when asked about the matchup. She said “We’ve been practicing at Simmons so I’m not concerned [about playing there] at all.  Our concern is us and how we are performing, not where or who we are playing.”