The Golden Eagles are coming off an 8-19 (5-17 NSIC) record during the 2012-13 season.
The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team officially opened up the 2013-14 season as they began practice Tuesday afternoon at Lysaker Gymnasium in Crookston, Minn. The Golden Eagles return 13 members from last season’s squad and welcome in just one newcomer as Mike Roysland enters his eighth year leading the Golden Eagle program.
The Golden Eagles are coming off an 8-19 (5-17 NSIC) record during the 2012-13 season as they finished eighth in the NSIC North last season and will look to improve after an overall disappointing year. UMC returns three starters from last season’s team, along with key reserve Jaya Perkins (So., G, Lakeville, Minn./Criminal Justice). Katrina Moenkedick (So., F, Perham, Minn./Early Childhood Education), an All-NSIC Freshman pick last season is the top scorer returning from last season after averaging 9.6 points. She is also the top returning rebounder after averaging 4.1 rebounds per contest. She is joined by returning starters Ashley Martell (Jr., G, Somerset, Wis./Health Science), who was third on the team averaging 8.9 points per game and shooting 35.0 percent from beyond the arc. Returning at the point guard position will be Alexa Thielman (So., G, Buffalo, Minn./Health Science), who averaged 6.2 points per game last season and shot 31.3 percent from behind the three-point line. Perkins averaged 4.6 points last season in her first with the team, coming mostly off the bench.
Also returning for the Golden Eagles are Ebony Livingston (Jr., G, Minneapolis, Minn./Sport and Rec Management), Erika McRoberts (So., F/C, Byron, Minn./Health Science), Christine Thorn (So., G, St. Michael, Minn./Elementary Education) and senior captain Jacy Christenson (Shoreview, Minn./Natural Resources) all of whom were key bench players for the Golden Eagles last season. Livingston averaged 4.0 points per game while McRoberts averaged 3.7 points per contest. Thorn tallied 3.0 points per contest and was an energy player off the bench while Christenson was a calming presence on the floor and averaged 2.1 points per contest as a junior. Also returning are Cienna Walker (Jr., G, Ajax, Ontario/Marketing), Lindsey Lahr (So., G, Isle, Minn./Health Management) and Avery Jackson (So., G, Wadena, Minn./Elementary Education), who played sparingly last season but will compete for playing time on the floor during the 2013-14 season. Kenzie Church (Jr., F, Fairmount, N.D./Management) also returns after missing most of last season with an injury.
Newcomer Selina Barnes (Fr., G, Colorado Springs, Colo./Health Science) and redshirt Megan Taylor (R-Fr., C, Estelline, S.D./Animal Science) also step into the fray this season. Barnes will compete for time at the point guard spot while Taylor will battle for time in the post along with McRoberts and Moenkedick.
The Golden Eagles will have to replace one of their fourth all-time leading scorer Brittani Wiese and their career rebounding leader Laurie Tyson along with energy player Carli Bunning. Wiese battled back from a knee injury her junior year and averaged 12.0 points a game to lead the team while Tyson averaged 5.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season. Bunning averaged 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 25 games played last season.
Returning to Roysland’s staff is long-time assistant coach Nate Mahlen, who has been with Roysland during his full eight years at UMC. Joining the staff for the 2013-14 season is local Crookston High School basketball legend Kamille Wahlin, who was a 1,000 point scorer at the University of Iowa, connecting on 230 career three-pointers which ranked second all-time at the end of her career. She was also third all-time in assists for the Hawkeyes and was selected to the All-Big Ten Third Team as a sophomore and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention team as a junior.