Posted: Nov 16, 2009
The Golden Bears have three starters back from last year's 12-13 team, which placed sixth in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) with an 8-5 mark.
Leading the way is senior guard Kailah Al-Darraji (Dover, NH) who averaged a team-high 12.8 points a year ago. She also was the team leader in assists (56) and second in both rebounding (5.5) and steals (44).
"Kailah is one of the top players in our conference," said fifth-year WNEC coach Nicole Chaszar. "She had an excellent season last winter and we're counting on her to have a big year for us."
Western New England College will begin the new campaign without junior guard/forward Taryn Belowsky (New Haven, CT) who averaged 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds last season. She is out with an injury and not expected back until the second semester.
Sophomore forward Sarah Proper (Coxsackie, NY) returns after a solid rookie year where she led the team in field-goal percentage (46.4) and rebounding (6.0), while finishing fourth in scoring (6.1).
Western New England College has two experienced front-court performers in junior forward Kelly McCormick (Manchester, CT) who averaged 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 18 contests and senior forward/center Caitlin Powers (Scotia, NY) who averaged 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 23 games. Both players started nine times.
Junior guard Loren Stock (Rocky Hill, CT) (4.4 ppg) is an experienced back court player.
Western New England College also returns senior forward Kaylyn Smith (Rensselaer, NY) who is presently out with an injury, junior guard Trish Breault (Millville, MA), and sophomore guard Kathleen Jasinski (Templeton, MA).
There are five freshmen, center Elena Radzikowski (Medway, MA), forwards Ashley Berent (Vernon, CT) and Dayshima Jackson (Manchester, CT), and guards Emily Savino (Ellington, CT) and Shelby Van Huysen (Killingworth, CT).
Breault (softball), Jasinski (field hockey), and Van Huysen (field hockey) are two-sport athletes at the College.
"Our three starters bring great leadership and experience," stated Chaszar. "We have some exciting, young players that will see significant minutes. We'll be looking for court leadership from the upper classmen to guide them on their journey."
Al-Darraji and Belowsky are the team co-captains.
Western New England College will host the inaugural Golden Bears Classic on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 21-22). WNEC will meet Bay Path at 5:00 p.m. Saturday followed by the Norwich-Trinity contest at 7:30 p.m.