|Falcons compete for playing time (10-09-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:30|
There's going to be plenty of opportunities for playing time for the 12 players on the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team this season.
''As of right now, everyone will see some action, just because of our smaller roster,'' BG head coach Jennifer Roos said Tuesday.
There are four seniors, two juniors, and one sophomore returning from last season's team, which was 24-11 overall and 11-5 in the Mid-American Conference. BG won twice in the WNIT before dropping a 50-47 decision to Drexel to end the 2012-13 season.
Redshirt senior Alexis Rogers (10.9 points, 6.0 rebounds per game), senior Jillian Halfhill (8.9 points, 5.1 rebounds per game, and a team high 114 assists), and sophomore Miriam Justinger (5.6 ppg) each started at least 22 games last season, with Halfhill starting all 35.
Also returning are seniors Jill Stein and Katrina Salinas, junior Jasmine Matthews, who was limited to 13 games due to injury, and junior Deborah Hoekstra.
Rounding out the roster are four freshmen, and redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan, a transfer from North Carolina State, who practiced with the team last season, but did not play.
''Erica was kind of thrown into the mix last year. Where ever we needed it, she played it,'' Roos said.
The freshmen are Leah Bolton, Kennedy Kirkpatrick, Rachel Konieczki, and Abby Siefker.
Bolton, a late signee, has not participated in the recent practices after having her meniscus shaved.
''That recovery is less than when you have a regular suture,'' Roos said about Bolton's surgery. ''She still has four weeks being out before she can start up again.''
The Falcons are in their second week of practices.
''They've gone really well. We have a smaller group this year, so we have gotten a lot of reps,'' Stein said about the practice sessions. ''And with the summer access ... our freshmen have already learned a lot, and that has really helped their learning curve. We are able to put in more things earlier than we have been in the past.
''We're already much further ahead than we have been in previous years,'' Stein continued. ''I'm really excited. Everybody is on board, and we all have the same energy and enthusiasm. We're ready to go.''
Stein played well late in the season with 88 points and 59 rebounds in the final nine games.
Roos, who was an assistant coach for the Falcons for 11 seasons before taking over as head coach last season, likes the added summer practices.
''The summer practices got everybody going to the pace that we needed to go,'' Roos said. ''They got used to hearing my voice, and hearing the voices of the staff as well.
''Just the language of new drills is different for a lot of freshmen. What you learned in high school and AAU will be very similar, but some of the language, some of the drills will be different,'' Roos continued. ''We got a lot of that out of the way in the summertime with our practices.''
Roos added that being able to use the weight room in the summer will also help the freshmen.
The Falcons are currently going with an early morning practice time because of class schedules.
''That's probably been our hardest thing, because we've have a couple of kids leave early (or) come late due to student teaching,'' Roos said. ''I'm happy overall with where we are right now.''
The Falcons play Tiffin as part of an exhibition doubleheader with the BG's men's team on Nov. 2, with the women's game at 4:30 p.m.
The women open the regular season in the Iona tournament against Michigan on Nov. 8 in New Rochelle, N.Y.
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