by Tom Brown
The Benedictine University Women’s Basketball team looks to build off a successful 2010-2011 season where they made the semi-finals of the Northern Athletic Conference tournament. Overall, the Eagles finished with a 16-10 record and a mark of 11-6 in conference play.
The 2011-2012 Eagles look and feel like they can improve upon last season’s finish, as they return three of their top five scorers form a year ago, including last year’s leading scorer Tracey Walsh (14.0 ppg). Also returning for the Eagles is senior Megan Wozniak ( 3.2 ppg), juniors Jillian Lipman (4.4 ppg) and Colleen Forkin ( 7.8 ppg), and sophmores Mary Calov (1.6 pps) and McKall Pugliese ( 0.4 ppg) All of these players look to contribute more with increased playing time this season.
One new addition the Eagles will have is a new Head Coach, as Kristen Gillespie takes over the coaching duties for the Eagles. Gillespie worked as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at University of Illinois-Chicago since 2009 and has also been an assistant coach at North Carolina State, University of California- Santa Barbara, and University of Central Florida.
“She has a lot to work with,” explained Lipman of Gillespie. “We have a lot of freshman and a lot of experience with the upper classmen. She is a very good coach with a lot of knowledge, so her first season should be a successful one.”
Overall, if the Eagles are serious about improving upon their fourth place finish in conference from last season, it will take a lot of coming together in the first few weeks as they adjust to a new coach.
“My expectations are that since we have a lot of new freshman and very few returners, that we can all come together,” Lipman added. “Hopefully by our first game, we are able to start our season off strong.”
Coach Gillespie’s debut and the lady Eagles first game will be Tuesday November 15th as Ben U travels to Chicago for a nonconference game vs. North Park University at 7 p.m.