Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville women's basketball team looks to rebound in 2018-19 with their collective sights set on reaching the postseason and making a name for themselves in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC).
Youth will be a major focal point for the women this year as the team welcomes in four freshman and have four sophomores for eight total underclassmen. That leaves four upperclassmen, including three seniors, to help build up the young Spartans to become key contributors.
All three of the team's seniors this season - point guard Monica June (Buffalo, NY/Hutch Tech), forward Darian Evans (Brant, NY/Lake Shore), and guard/forward Jordan Smith (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) - will serve as captains and lead the team with their play and their attitudes. Each one of the seniors brings something different to the table in terms of leadership and skill sets.
June is the team's floor general and became a go-to scoring option for the women last season. She led the team in scoring (11.2 PPG), was second in minutes (27.3 MPG), assists (2.1 APG), and steals (1.1 SPG) and had 16 games of scoring in double-figures. She sets the tone for the Spartans on offense with her vision and quickness.
Evans is the team's top option in the post but can play with her back to the basket and can also step out and is extremely consistent from mid-range. Third in points (7.8 PPG) and second in rebounding (6.0 RPG), Evans is efficient and effective down low.
Smith can serve many roles for the women. She is a combo guard/forward with enough skill to shoot and dribble on the outside, but also play in the post and make tough shots up close. She finished 2017-18 second on the team in scoring (9.8 PPG) and first in rebounding (6.3 PRG). Jordan totaled 10 games of double-figure scoring and a pair of double-doubles.
Sophomores Sydney Alton (Hannibal, NY/Hannibal) and Sara Field (Durhamville, NY/VVS) turned in strong freshmen seasons and will be counted on to contribute even more this season. Alton started 22 of 25 games as a freshman, scoring 5.8 PPG. She added a second scorer to the backcourt and a playmaker as well. As for Field, she was fourth on the team in scoring with 6.6 PPG and fifth in rebounding with 3.9 RPG. Her presence on the inside was a strength for D'Youville as she has a solid post presence and finishes well around the rim.
Several players will be asked to take on larger roles this season as they look to make larger contributions to the team's overall success. Junior guard Marina Campbell (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Catholic) is a creative player with the ball in her hands while sophomore guard Kailey Kellner (Coupeville, WA/Coupeville) is a sharp-shooter on the outside that can stretch a defense. Sophomore forward Kelsey Carpenter (Hilton, NY/Hilton) has come back with an increased skill set and will be a player the team will look for more of this season.
D'Youville will usher in a talented freshman class this season, all with versatility and unique abilities. Danielle Hore (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park) is extremely dangerous with the ball in her hands and can create her own shot or shots for others. Riley Riedel (Marilla, NY/Iroquois) is a guard/forward combo that is a mismatch for any opponent. She can not only win with size but also speed and shooting ability to provide a unique weapon for the Spartans.
Guard Hanna Wozniak (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) is another dangerous player with the ball in her hand that can make things happen for others as well as herself. Alexandria McBride (Elma, NY/Iroquois) is a promising forward with potential that can be developed while Emmalea Erlandson (West Valley, NY/Ellicottville) begins the season injured but has a great deal of abilities when fully healthy.
Overall, the 2018-19 D'Youville women's basketball team is building the foundation of a playoff team. With their young talent combined with experience impact players, the women can make a run to return to the AMCC playoffs and make noise within the conference.
The season opener for the women comes on Saturday, November 10 as they travel to play Wells at 1:00pm. They will then return home on Monday, November 12 to host Elmira at 6:00pm in their home opener.