MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College Women's Basketball team enters the 2017-18 campaign with a solid mix of returners and newcomers. The Colonels finished last season an overall record of 10-16 and an 8-10 mark in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). They qualified for the CCC Tournament as the number six seed and played Western New England University in the quarterfinals. The team looks to improve their overall and conference records in addition to advancing further in the conference tournament.
Read Head Coach Fran Elms' Season Outlook Below:
Top Returning Players
The top returners are four of our starters from last season, highlighted by Emily Irwin (Billerica, Mass.) at the point guard position. A team captain, Emily was in the top 10 in the league in several categories last season: Points (16.1, First), Steals (4.4, First), and Assists (3.7, Second). Sam Bamford (North Easton, Mass.) will be our two guard. She is a very tenacious defender who wreaks havoc against opposing guards. Sam is excellent in taking a charge as well as making steals. Molly Plunkett (Quincy, Mass.) is another returning starter from a year ago. She is very versatile and can play the guard spot or the four in the post. Plunkett is a physically strong player who can be a great defender in the post against bigger opponents. On offense, her versatility really shines through as she can hit the three, drive the lane and post up. Molly has improved has improved significantly from her freshman to sophomore year and we expect her to make another big step forward in development. Nicole Rice (Woburn, Mass.) is our returning center who does a great job as a rim protector. Nicole was one of the league leaders in blocks last season. She has been working hard on her outside shot as well as her post play. Rice will serve as the second of three captains this season. She is a great leader with a work ethic that truly helps lead the team. Her senior confidence and leadership will be needed for us to excel this season. Rounding out the returners are Stephanie Rizzo (East Boston, Mass.) and Erica Ulrich (Westminster, Mass.). Rizzo will serve as the third and final captain who has an upbeat tempo to her game. She is also a solid leader through her work ethic. Ulrich returns to the team this season as one of the best three-point shooters on our roster. We expect these players to give us some depth off the bench.
I believe we have a very talented incoming freshmen class. Taylor McNair (Oxford, Conn.) and Gina Coote (Dedham, Mass.) were both league MVP's of their respective conferences last year. Taylor is a very fast guard who can finish well in transition. Gina has a good all-around game as she is very versatile. She does a lot of the little things that will help us moving forward. She has a better than average shot with a good all-around knowledge of the game. Maeve Foley (Wethersfield, Conn.) will be helping us at the two and three spot. Foley has a very good grasp of the game for a freshman who can also hit from the outside. Foley will help us stretch out the defense as she possesses a great three-point shot. Janee Walker (Pittsfield, Mass.) will give us added depth at the guard spot. Olivia Philippi (Kingston, R.I.) is a power forward that we believe will develop into a very productive player who will contribute significantly. Lastly, we have Marie Desmornes (Waltham, Mass.) who is working hard at transitioning from the forward slot to the guard position.
Expectations for Season
Last year's team was on the young side. Even though we are still young, we do have some experience with the four returning starters to this year's squad. Curry Women's Basketball will be looking to improve on last year's record. This is a great group of players who are eager to learn and develop their games. As long as we learn from our mistakes and keep working hard, I believe this team will succeed on and off the court.
Who in League to Look Out For
The University of New England will be the frontrunner as they have won the CCC the last four seasons. We expect to be in the hunt with Western New England, Roger Williams, Endicott and Salve Regina.
The Curry College Women's Basketball team opens the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, November 15 at Framingham State at 6:00 p.m.