NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The 2012-2013 edition of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts women's basketball program will have a new look as they prepare to tip off the season tomorrow night against Daniel Webster. For the first time in four years, the Trailblazers will have to replace their all-time leading scorer and rebounder, Jen Wehner, along with All-MASCAC performer Alie Dobrovolc. MCLA finished last year with a mark of 15-13, reaching the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference semi-finals in the process.
Although eighth year coach Holly McGovern graduated the most decorated class in school history, the cupboard is not bare. The Trailblazers return a host of veteran players, including three-year starting guard Lucy Tremblay, as they look forward to the challenges ahead. McGovern has been pleased early on.
"The team has shown great enthusiasm this preseason and has really started to improve upon their team chemistry," McGovern said. "We have some players who have given quality minutes in the years leading up to this one and expect to remain competitive in the MASCAC."
MCLA was selected to finish fifth in the conference preseason poll.
Tremblay is the top returning scorer for MCLA racking up 14.6 points-per-game last season. The senior will be asked to carry the scoring load along with being the leader of the team. Tremblay also led the team in steals with almost three per game. She also is on the verge of joining the 1,000 point club, currently sitting at 898 career points.
Other returning players who saw significant action last year include junior guard Kait Chenevert and sophomore forward Sara Hamilton. Chenevert will be asked to be a bit more assertive on the offensive end in 2012 as she consistently drew the top defensive assignment for MCLA a year ago. The junior averaged 7.5 points-per-game, however she did touch double figures in eight games last year. Hamilton joined the program in January of last season and quickly became acclimated to the Trailblazer system. She will be counted on to control the glass and continue to develop as an offensive threat.
Aside from the three players mentioned above, MCLA also returns key reserves from a year ago in Danielle Scolpino, Johanna Miner, Alyson Stolz, Danielle Beauchamp, Kelsey Ouimet and Tashari Rainwater. Scolpino is the top returning scorer of the bunch and will push for a starting spot. The remaining players should all see action as the season unfolds.
MCLA will welcome in three newcomers to the program in Mariah Brown, Kathleen Nguyen and Olivia Repula.
The Trailblazers will play a demanding 25-game slate with the season opener scheduled for Nov. 15 at home against Daniel Webster. Some early season highlights will be the annual meeting with cross town rival Williams College on Nov. 25, along with tournaments scheduled at Salisbury University (Md.) and Lycoming College (Pa.).
MCLA will then kick off the MASCAC schedule during their second semester on Jan. 8 when they host Salem State.