FORT WAYNE – Senior leadership.
When all else fails, regardless of game or gender, coaches love to hang their hopes – if not their hats – on that one, particular peg.
But as he stands at the precipice of his eighth season, IPFW women’s basketball coach Chris Paul cannot lean on the familiar catchphrase, simply because there are no seniors on the 2012-13 roster.
Teams with seniors can bring just as many challenges as teams without seniors, Paul said before an early-week, early-morning practice at the Gates Center. Sometimes seniors can get set in their ways. Freshmen and sophomores are still trying to figure things out and they’re willing to learn and everything is soaking in.
Once you become a junior, there’s not a major difference between being a senior. Amanda Hyde is as ready to be a leader on this team as anybody we’ve ever had as a junior. I think we’re prepared for those challenges.
Hyde, a 5-foot-10 guard-forward who averaged 9.4 points and started 23 games last season, is one of four juniors. Guards Erin Murphy (9.9 points), Rachel Mauk (5.0) and Stephanie Mauk (3.8) are the three other veterans from last year’s team that struggled to a 9-21 record, including 6-12 in the Summit League.
The juniors have to step up and take that leadership role, Hyde said. I’m excited for it, though. It’s nothing I haven’t seen in the past. We’re ready for it.
IPFW will be without its Misses Inside and Outside from the past seasons. Guard Anne Boese averaged 11.5 points last year and was one of the premier three-point shooters in Summit League history, while 6-2 center Stephanie Rosado averaged 13.8 points despite playing on a surgically repaired knee.
Without those components, IPFW will have a different look offensively.
The way we’re going to score is going to be different, Paul said. We’re going to try not to do it off the dribble. We’re going to do it more with back screens and ball screens and flairs and move the basketball on a pass, make the defense work and a lot of inside-out; make the defense collapse, pay attention to the post, kick out. It frees our shooters up; a lot of touches and a lot of movement, more passing-wise than dribble-wise.
Although he has no seniors, Paul has plenty of size this season. Ten of the 13 players on the roster are 5-10 or taller, with six at 6-foot or bigger.
IPFW opens its season Nov. 11 against Southern Illinois Edwardsville.
The 3-1 victory over Western Illinois on Monday was the eighth straight for the IPFW women’s volleyball team (17-3, 7-1 Summit League). The last loss came against Oakland, 3-2 – the same Oakland team the Mastodons face Friday at the Gates Center.
Emily Spencer continues to lead the team offensively, with 300 kills. Jessie Manwaring has 196, Kendal Wienkes has 183 and Haley Emenhiser has 177.
The Indiana Tech men’s and women’s bowling teams began their seasons at the Midwest Collegiate tournament in Wauwatosa, Wis. The men placed 20th in the 42-team field while the women were 16th out of 30 teams. Tech senior Tony Henry (Bishop Dwenger) was 13th with a 216.22 average over nine games. Sophomore Brooke Copenhaver (DeKalb) led the women, finishing 16th with a 187.22 average.
Athletes of note
Trine quarterback Ryan
Hargraves and safety Blaek
Combs were named the MIAA offensive and defensive players of the week. Hargraves accounted for 249 yards of offense in Trine’s 27-22 win over Albion, and Combs had a career-high of 17 tackles and added an interception. IUPUI junior Moriah Fair (Carroll) was named Summit League volleyball player of the week. Fair had 31 kills in leading the Jaguars to two victories but had just eight errors in 77 attempts for hitting percentages of .355, .333 and .500.