Belles focus on improving in opener
By KATIE McVOY
The Saint Mary's basketball team looks to improve as it opens the 1999-2000 season against the Baldwin-Wallace Yellow Jackets in the Marcia French Tournament at 6 p.m., Friday, in Berea, Ohio.
The Belles finished last season with a 4-20 record. This season offers them an opportunity to grow as individuals, as a team and as a varsity program.
"Last year we were very young and inexperienced," returning starter Julie Norman said. "At the end of last season, we saw a glimpse of what we could do. This year we are going to pick up where we left off and really improve."
The Belles will face the Yellow Jackets under the guidance of head coach Dave Roeder and assistant coach Doug Fox. Saint Mary's returns seven starters to the court, including six sophomores. The Class of 2002 will be key to the Belles' program this year.
"First and foremost, the sophomores are going to be the most significant part of our team this year," Norman said. "Now that they have a year of experience under their belts, they can really help rebuild this team."
Roeder added, "We aren't going to make as many mistakes this year because we are a more experienced team."
The Belles are focusing on defense this season.
"We are working on defense because we don't want to go 4-20 this season," Roeder said.
Saint Mary's is currently ranked 9th in the MIAA; they plan to use that ranking to their benefit.
"We are really going to surprise some people this year," Norman said. "The ninth-place ranking offers us a challenge to go out there and show people what we can do."
The Belles are ready for a challenge and they will find it in Baldwin-Wallace. Under the guidance of head coach Cheri Harrer, the Yellow Jackets are looking for their fifth-consecutive berth to the Division III National Tournament. They return 10 letter winners from last year's team.
"We've been going over Baldwin-Wallace's offense and their press breaker," Norman said. "We've been working on all the little things so that we will be ready on Friday."
All Sports Stories for Friday, November 19, 1999