Buffalo, NY - A young, refreshed, and revitalized D'Youville women's basketball team comes into the 2019-20 season striving for growth, playoffs, and establishing D'Youville as a force to be reckon with.
The team's mindset this season is to do everything as a team. Head Coach Dan Glover explained that despite a team filled with youth, the mentality is to continue grow and compete.
"We are looking to compete every day and continue to learn and grow with every opportunity or challenge we are faced with this season," said Glover. "We have a team that genuinely cares about each other and our successes as a group. With that I believe you will see a product that resembles that on the floor this season."
D'Youville went 10-15 overall with a 7-11 conference record last season - tying for 8th in the AMCC. In their final three games of the season, the Spartans went 2-1 as they closed out the season strong and on a high note with an 82-67 victory over Franciscan on senior night.
The women played every team tough, with seven losses coming by 10 points or less while four of their conference losses were by five points or less. Throughout the season, D'Youville continued to battle game-in and game-out, showcasing their warrior mentality. With a young roster this season, Coach Glover and the staff will look to keep their collective eyes set on succeeding and conquering one day at a time.
"Our goal this season is to slow things down and really attack one game at a time," said Glover. "Being young, we do not want to get ahead of ourselves. Each game we are going to take it on as it's a championship game. We are going out to compete and win the day."
That young nucleus will drive the Spartans this season, led by reigning AMCC Newcomer of the Year and AMCC Second Team All-Conference selection Danielle Hore (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park). The sophomore point guard put together one of the best all-around seasons in program history as a freshman in 2018-19, leading the team in nearly every statistical category.
Hore finished second in the AMCC in assists (5.7 APG), third in steals (2.6 SPG) and rebounds (9.7 RPG), fourth in minutes (36.7 MPG), and sixth in scoring (14.7 PPG). Her incredible season featured scoring double-figures in 23 of 25 games, double-figure rebounds in 11 games, five or more assists in 19 games, eight double-doubles, and three near triple-doubles. As the team's starting point guard again this season, she will be the engine that makes the team run.
Sophomore guard/forward Riley Riedel (Marilla, NY/Iroquois) is one of the team's top returners but has immense potential. She possesses guard-like skills in a forward's body and presents matchup issues for opponents. Hanna Wozniak (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) is set to build off an impressive freshman season where she played all 25 games.
As for the upperclassmen, Sydney Alton (Hannibal, NY/Hannibal) and Kelsey Carpenter (Hilton, NY/Hilton) are the lone upperclassmen as juniors and will be expected to provide experience and leadership this season. Alton had a career year in 2018-19 with 6.4 PPG and a 34.2 FG% while starting 22 of 25 games. Carpenter stepped into a larger role last season and had several big performances. She started a career high eight games, playing all 25. Against Hilbert, Kelsey posted nine rebounds and 22 points as she averaged a career high in points, rebounds, and had eight games of four rebounds or more.
The team will get a big boost down low from a pair of sophomore Emmalea Erlandson (West Valley, NY/Ellicottville) and Becca Krenzer (Pavilion, NY/Batavia-Notre Dame). Erlandson missed the past two seasons due to injury but is back and hungry to be an impact player for the women. Krenzer has experience and a high basketball IQ in the post, offering a great deal of skill and calming demeanor for the team.
Where the team sees their greatest amount of depth comes from the freshmen class. Of the seven newcomers for the women, only one is shorter than 5-foot-8 as they boast great size and skill in their youth movement.
Haley Kirisits (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster), Ashley Schenkel (Webster, NY/Webster Thomas), Elyse VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford), Brigid McKeone (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg), Caroline Szuflita (Eden, NY/Eden), Sarah Wittek (Elma, NY/Iroquois), and Elizabeth Bradley (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) all bring length, athleticism, and skill to the lineup but each have their unique qualities that make them valuable to the team.
Bradley, Schenkel, VanAuken, and Szuflita are all guards but three of the foursome are 5-foot-8 or taller. Kirisits is a 5-foot-11 combo guard/forward while McKeone adds size down low at 6-foot-1 and Wittek is an imposing presence in the post at 6-foot-3.
Despite the youth of the program, Coach Glover and the coaching staff believe in the players that have been Spartans for several years.
"Even with no seniors, we still have girls who are two-three years in our program and some really strong leaders in those groups," Glover said. "Our freshman will grow and develop and I have faith that they can all play different leadership roles. As always we look to empower all of our players to be leaders and contribute to our success on and off the floor."
Coach Glover enters his 8th season in charge of the program with Associate Head Coach Dan Gerken returning for his fourth with the team. Graduate Assistant Taylor Duchon is back for her second season while Monica June and Darian Evans have transitioned from players to coaches as they have been added to the team's coaching staff.
On adding his two former players to his coaching staff, Coach Glover exclaimed his excitement to add the two former players to the coaching staff.
"Monica and Darian were not only great players but great people with our program," sad Glover. "It was really a no brainer to keep them around. They know my vision as a head coach of where we want this program to go and the culture we are continuing to build. So keeping them on board is only going to strengthen our bond as a program and help propel us forward."
D'Youville will open up their season at home on Saturday, November 9 as they host Wells at 1:00pm. The Spartans will host three games in the month of November before opening their conference schedule on Wednesday, December 4 at 8:00pm as they host Penn State-Behrend.