MILTON, Mass.- The Curry women's basketball program will be adding seven new talented freshmen to this year's team, after graduating six seniors, four which were starters. This will be no easy task replacing Shannon Griffith, Kerry White, Christine Deiorio and Alyssa Keeney. However we do have some very talented young freshman who we hope can help fill that void. Coach Elms and Coach Cotter believe that their captains are going to be excellent leaders and that the chemistry on this year's team will help them get over the growing pains of being a young squad. The coaching staff is optimistic that this year's team will strive to do their very best.
Starting off, we have Sam Bamford from Oliver Ames High School. She was the starting point guard for her team that won the South Shore Title and led her team all the way to the FleetCenter before ending a stellar season for Oliver Ames. We expect her to contribute significantly in the backcourt this year.
Next up we have Erica Ulrich, who played at Oakmont High School. She is a combination wing and post player who is very versatile. The team is are hoping she can develop and help at both positions. At Oakmont, she was named the Offensive MVP, Telegram and Gazette Honorable Mention.
Paige Senator is a strong wing player who can shoot the three as well as drive the lane. The coaching staff is hoping she can help open up some driving lanes this season. At Parker Charter, Paige was a three-year captain and two-time team MVP.
Next, we have Mikayla Niles from Saugus, who should help out the team considerably on defense as she is a tenacious defender who can also heat up fast from the outside. At Saugus, Mikayla was captain her senior year as well as making the NEC ALL All-Star team her junior and senior years.
Carolyn Kilduff is another new addition to this year's squad. A native of Rockland, Mass., Kilduff is a strong power forward that the team is going to need to help control the boards offensively and defensively.
Rounding out the incoming freshman class will be Zoe Gilishaw, Lovashia Rosario and Jasmine Bell all players who will help significantly in practice and to our depth.
The team will also welcome back six returners to the 2016-17 team.
First up is Stephanie Rizzo, a scrappy 1-2 guard who can wreak havoc on opposing point guards with her speed and quick hands on defense. Her never give up attitude is one of her many qualities that the coaching staff admires and appreciates. At East Boston High, Rizzo was a League All-Star and Team MVP in her senior year.
Next, Molly Plunkett is a power forward that can handle the ball drain the three and plays strong in the post offensively as well as defensively. She is going to be depended on by immensely this season by Coach Elms. In high school at Archbishop Williams she was a member of two state championships teams.
With a year under her belt, sophomore Meaghan Fitzgerald is developing very well in the post position and will add needed depth in this area. In high school she was a League All-Star all four years, Team MVP and a 1000 point scorer.
Reigning CCC Rookie of the Year Emily Irwin will serve Curry's starting point guard. She will be asked to shoulder that position again and help to improve upon Curry's fifth place finish with a young squad this season. In high school, Irwin was the Lowell Sun Player of the Year and a 1000 point scorer. Last season, she tied for the team lead in points per game with 10 and also shot 38.5% from the field.
The first of two captains on this year's squad, Amanda Gresian is an excellent leader on and off the court and Coach Elms is hoping Amanda can also contribute in the post this season.
Nicole Rice will also be a captain on this year's team. She will need to step up her minutes this year and take the lead in the post. With her 6'3" size, she should be able to control the boards offensively and defensively. Her outside shooting abilities will also be depended on.
One year removed from being in the CCC Championship Coach Elms and Coach Cotter are striving to return to that championship level. The 2015-16 team finished with a 12-14 overall record including a 9-9 mark in the CCC.
The team opens the 2016-17 season on Tuesday November 15th at home against Framingham State at 5:30 p.m.