By Kendrick Jackson, Advertising Manager
After dropping both games in the MEC/PSAC challenge last season, our Lady Hilltoppers are motivated to begin the season on a high note.
California (Pa.) University will be the first test for the Black and Gold this season. The Lady Vulcans of Cal. U. were voted No. 10 in the NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. This comes after a season that saw Cal. U. finish 30-4, with an appearance in the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Division II Tournament.
With three returning starters, including senior forward, Seairra Barrett, the Lady Vulcans look to repeat their dominance this season. Barrett finished first and second on the team in rebounding and scoring respectively last season, averaging 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Game two of last season’s MEC/PSAC challenge saw West Liberty lose to Cal. U. with 50-92. Barrett piled in 17 points, while none of our Lady Toppers cracked double digits in scoring.
Day two of the MEC/PSAC challenge will see the Black and Gold face-off against Mercyhurst (Pa.) University. The Lady Lakers of Mercyhurst finished 24-8 last season while advancing to second round of the 2017 NCAA Division II Tournament. However, preseason polls have Mercyhurst ranked at the bottom of the PSAC West Division.
Lady Toppers newly-hired assistant coach, Cassie Seth, is very familiar with Mercyhurst, as she was a four-year standout for the Lady Lakers during her playing days. Seth also ranks Top-10 all-time in points and steals as a Lady Laker.
Mercyhurst defeated our Lady Toppers 69-53 during game one of last year’s MEC/PSAC crossover. Second-team All-MEC guard, McKenna Shives, led the way for the Hilltoppers with 16 points, including four three-point field goals.
Our Lady Toppers will play Cal. U. Saturday at 4 p.m., and Mercyhurst Sunday at 2 p.m. The Black and Gold will then play again on Tuesday, Nov. 14, against Ursuline College at 5:30 p.m.
Photo credit: Hilltoppersports.com