The Cardinal begins play next week, as they have the past two years, with exhibition games against UC San Diego and Vanguard
Exhibition games "don't count", but they're very entertaining for Cardinal fans. The players are as eager to play as you are to see them, and you never know what to expect. Do you remember:
- How the freshmen sparkled in the game against Vanguard last year? Chiney, Toni and Sara got 33% of the playing time. Sara scored 16 points on 53% shooting, and Chiney had a 24-point 16-rebound double-double. How will our six freshmen perform in their college debut on Wednesday?
- The smothering defense against UCSD last year when the Cardinal had 46 rebounds to the Tritons' 12?
- The outstanding guard play against Vanguard in 2009 when Mel had twelve assists with just one turnover and Jeanette had seven As and two TOs?
- The barrage of 3-pointers against Vanguard in 2009 – 15 of them — or Lindy's seven against Chico State in 2008? Will the 3s still drop from one foot farther away?
If you like to take photos of the Cardinal for your own pleasure or to share with other fans and want some tips from a professional sports photographer, come to Kissick Auditorium at 5:45 on Wednesday before the Vanguard game. More information here ...
UC San Diego
The UCSD Tritons are a strong Division II team that has won 20 games in each of the past six seasons. They advanced to the semifinals of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championship Tournament last season.
They have been ranked in the Division II preseason top 25 each of the past three years and are ranked ninth this year.
UCSD welcomes back eleven letterwinners, including all five starters:
- #15, 5'7" senior guard Chelsea Carlisle earned WBCA Honorable Mention All-American accolades after averaging 18.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game as a junior in 2010-11. She was also named to the All-CCAA and Daktronics All-West Region first teams last year.
- #5, 5'9" junior guard Emily Osga averaged 11.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season. She was named to the All-CCAA first team.
- #25, 6'1" senior center Lauren Freidenberg posted season averages of 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds on 51.5% shooting.
- #24, 5'10" junior forward Erin Grady was UCSD's fifth-leading scorer (6.4 points) and ranked fourth in both rebounding (4.0) and assists (1.3).
- #21, 5'9" sophomore guard Megan Perry earned a spot in the starting lineup as a freshman with her consistent shooting. She made 53.6% overall and a team-high 61.5% from beyond the arc.
The Vanguard Lions play in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). They are one of the elite NAIA teams. Since 2003, Vanguard has won one championship, advanced to the semifinals twice and finished as quarterfinalists three times. They are ten-time GSAC champions and have been picked to finish third in the conference this season.
They had a slew of injuries last season, and were eliminated in the NAIA first round for the first time since 2001-02. Three of last season's starters graduated, but the team has reloaded with three juniors from Australia, and the Lions are roaring to get back into the battle for their second NAIA Championship.
16-year head coach Russ Davis says, "If we stay healthy, this team can compete for it all."
Based on 2010-11 stats, I'm guessing that the starters will be:
- #24, 5'6" junior guard Chelsea Alfafara started 15 (of 29) games last season. She was the highest scorer of the returning players with 9.1 points per game. She tried more 3-pointers than anyone, and made 34% of them.
- #3, 5'6" junior guard Veronica Beavor started 13 games and averaged 8.9 points, an 3.2 rebounds.
- #25, 5'8" senior guard/forward Ariel Castillo started 15 games and averaged 6.6 points and 1.8 rebounds.
- #11, 6'0" junior forward Allison Burns started 17 games and averaged 7.3 points and 5.2 rebounds.
- #00, 6'3" sophomore forward/center Leigha Bednar came off the bench for about 13 minutes a game and averaged 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds.