Lynchburg College 2012-13 Women’s Basketball Season Preview

Lynchburg College 2012-13 Women’s Basketball Season Preview

Lynchburg College 2012-13 Women's Basketball Season Preview

The Lynchburg College women's basketball team begins 2012-13 season with high expectations after finishing 9-17 against one of the toughest schedules in the nation.  The Hornets went 8-12 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) which saw them make a trip to Salem for the ODAC tournament for the sixth straight year.  One of those victories was a home win over regular season co-champion Eastern Mennonite University.  With key returners back and several newcomers in the fold, LC hopes to continue its climb in the conference.

Head coach Abby Pyzik and the rest of the Hornet coaching staff bring back two players to the frontcourt.  Versatile guard/forward Shannon Allan (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley) had a breakout first season at LC.  At 6'1" she led the team in most statistical categories: points per game (14), minutes per game (30.8), rebounds per game (7.9), steals per game (1.6), and blocks per game (1.5).  For her efforts, Allan was honored by the rest of the league with a place on the Third Team All-ODAC. Coach Pyzik stated, "Shannon is the type of player that is going to give you everything that she has every time she steps onto the court with the ability to make special things happen. A true competitor and with one year of experience underneath of her, Shannon has really worked hard in the offseason to elevate her game to the next level."

Caleigh Patterson (Fairfax, VA/Fairfax) returns to the Hornets for her third year up front.  Patterson made huge strides last year, playing in 25 games while starting nine of them.  She improved her averages from her freshman season, and became an important defensive specialist on the low block standing at a solid 5'10". "Caleigh brings a tremendous work ethic and drive every day. Her defensive mindset, strength, and leadership will be looked to greatly for experience this year in the paint," said Pyzik.

Two guards with experience return to the backcourt for Lynchburg this season.  Shea Kelley (Norristown, PA/Kennedy-Kenrick) is the lone senior for the Hornets this year.  The 5'6" Kelley averaged six points a game off the bench, however she had her biggest game in the ODAC tournament.  She scored 21 points, including hitting six threes in the game, tying the ODAC Championship record for most in a game.  "Shea is a very quick guard that has tremendous range on the court. This makes her a huge threat on the offensive end. There is no doubt that her leadership will be leaned on this year. We know she will rise to the challenge."

Katie Reeves (Bealeton, VA/Liberty) returns after a successful season in which she started 21 of 26 games.  The 5'5" point guard averaged five points and 2.3 assists per game and is expected to continue her development as a sophomore. "Reeves is a gutsy and loyal point guard that plays with tremendous passion and heart. At any time she is more than willing to put the team on her back and carry us forward."

Lynchburg welcomes seven newcomers this year: two transfers and five freshmen.  Sophomore Lauren Penley (Pfafftown, NC/Mount Tabor) transfers in from Division II Pfeiffer University.  Penley is a strong and intelligent 6'0" post player. "Lauren is a fantastic addition to our family. She brings to the program great energy, an ability to run the floor well, and strong range as a post player." Ann Dorris (Clifton, TX/Logan County) is the other transfer, coming from Hardin-Simmons University in Texas.  The junior point guard will provide steadiness and depth in the backcourt. "There is no doubt that Ann has a great team first attitude and a tremendous passion for the game. Ann is a student of the game and her ball handling abilities will give us great depth in the point guard position." Pyzik commented.

Two of the freshmen for Lynchburg played together at Bishop McGuinness High School in North Carolina, helping the Villains win state championships every year.  At 5'10", Sarah Coon (Jamestown, NC) provides added depth up front bringing intelligence and a nice touch around the basket to the Hornets. "Sarah is one of a kind. Her positive energy, vocalness, and compassion towards her teammates are second to none. Her athleticism and versatility will be a great asset to our program as we elevate Lynchburg Women's Basketball," Pyzik said. Sammi Goldsmith (Jamestown, NC) is another bright player for LC.  The guard can play both positions in the backcourt, after scoring over 1,000 points in high school and averaging seven assists as a senior. "Sammi has the gift to truly think the game. She brings strong court vision and decision making skills every time she steps onto the court. Standing at 5'10" she is a natural leader on the floor. Coming from a winning program she expects the best every time and you can see that in her focus."

Chaney Forbush (Clifton, VA/Centreville), Katie Ruth (Silver Spring, MD/Sherwood) and Sarah Toliver (Brightwood, VA/St. Anne's Belfield) are the three players rounding out this highly touted recruiting class.  Forbush and Ruth add more size and skill to an already deep frontcourt.  The 6'0" Forbush was a four-year starter and a first-team All-Concorde District performer for the Wildcats.  Pyzik commented, "Chaney is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. She has a phenomenal touch around the basket and strong range for her size." Ruth started her entire career as well, and was named MVP for two of those years.  "At 6'1", Katie has some of the strongest post moves on our team. She has a beautiful shot and will be looked to provide great depth in the paint." Toliver is a 5'6" athletic guard, who provides speed and quickness, but will also be asked to knock down the open shots as well. "Sarah is an athlete that brings another level to our team's play. She has a ridiculous passion for the defensive side of the ball. A selfless player, she also has a calmness about her to hit a wide range of shots."

LC will once again face a tough schedule in 2012-2013.  The Hornets will open up the season against Penn State-Berks as they travel on the road to the Dickinson Tip-Off Tournament where they will take senior Shea Kelley closer to home to play in front of her family. Lynchburg will also travel to NCAA tournament participant Ferrum College in a non-conference matchup on November 30.  LC opens its ODAC slate at home against Randolph-Macon College three days prior to the bout with the Panthers.  The Hornets will head to the home of one other NCAA participant: defending ODAC tournament champion Guilford College.  The game on February 2 could go a long way in deciding the fate of LC this year.