LYNCHBURG, Va. – Coming off a season that saw its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament win, the Randolph College women's basketball team looks to build upon its previous success in the upcoming 2017-18 campaign.
Under the direction of second-year head coach Andrea Kendall, the WildCats are hungry to prove to themselves and the conference that they are a force to be reckoned with.
"Building upon last year, obviously our expectations for ourselves are greater and I think anyone that watches us play are expecting us to continue to do well," said Kendall. "There is no secret behind the competitiveness of our league but every game is any team's game. If you tell us it is possible, then let's put ourselves in a position to win these games."
After finishing with a 13-14 overall record and a 7-9 ODAC record in the 2016-17 season, Kendall returns several veterans from last year's squad, which is spearheaded by a strong senior class comprised of Taylor Samuels (Springfield, Va./West Springfield), Alexis Calloway (Williamsburg, Va./Burton), Daijah Johnson (Beltsville, Md./St. Vincent Palloti), Maura McMahon (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) and Lauren Moore (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook). Additionally, Kendall welcomes back sophomores Kalyn Banks (Clinton, Md./From The Heart Christian School) and Jennifer Weigle (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) who have helped their fellow returners in acclimating the newcomers to the team.
"I am really proud of their leadership so far. They have stepped up and taken the younger ones under their wings," said Kendall. "They have made them accustomed to our expectations, our culture of hard work and what we expect out of them energy wise."
Six new faces adorn the roster this season as the WildCats bring on the first-year talents of Jasmine King (Fincastle, Va./Lord Botetourt), Elizabeth Ellen (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover), Sarah Wright (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover), Breyanna Rice (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage), Jade Jarvis (Sugar Grove, Va./Rural Retreat) and Evy Tomaszewski (Gurnee, Ill./Grayslake Central).
"We have some young ones but in terms of talent, they are just as good and can keep up with the upperclassmen," stated Kendall.
With the season opener just around the corner, the WildCats are eager to build on the momentum of last year but are also embracing the beginning of a brand new chapter where just about anything can happen.
"The windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror for a reason," said Kendall. "We just have to worry about we have in front of us and take it day by day and as long as we are getting better, we are doing the right thing."
Randolph opens its season at home on Wednesday, Nov. 15 when it hosts Meredith College at 6 p.m. in the RAD Center. The WildCats will compete in six road games, including its conference opener against Eastern Mennonite University on Nov. 28, before returning to the RAD to kick off a five-game homestand from Dec. 9 to Jan. 3. From Jan. 6-30, the WildCats will play five games away and four at home, followed by consecutive home ODAC contests against Hollins University (Feb. 3) and Virginia Wesleyan University (Feb. 7). Randolph will cap off its road games at Emory & Henry College on Feb. 10 before rounding out its regular season with home contests against Guilford College (Feb. 14) and Bridgewater College (Feb. 17).