NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College women's basketball team, under the guidance of 18th-year Head Coach Rosanne Scott, returns 10 players from one year prior.
"It helps having a veteran team, having a lot of returners come back and them knowing the system and moving forward, they've done a good job of helping the younger kids out and that's been great to see." Scott said.
Headlining the returners is senior Emily Fromknecht (Erie, PA / McDowell), who earned All-Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Honorable Mention recognition for the third straight season. Fromknecht ranked first in blocks (57), second in rebounds (9.4), eighth in assists (3.1), and 16th in points (11.1) in the conference. All were team-highs. Fromknecht's 57 blocks not only led the conference but also broke her own single-season school record. Her block total also tied for 36th in the nation. During the 2018-19 season, Fromknecht broke the program's career blocks record and currently has 138. Fromknecht was named to this year's PAC Players to Watch List.
"Last offseason Emily came off an ankle surgery. She's probably in the best shape that I've seen her in coming into a season. It's going to be exciting, I'm excited for her and I'm excited for all the seniors. They've really come together and have worked hard and want to end on a great note for their senior year." Scott said.
Senior Kayla Bennett (Kent, OH / Theodore Roosevelt) also scored in double-figures for the Titans with 10.2 points per game (ppg) and was second on the team in rebounds (6.3) in 2018-19. Bennett was also named to the PAC Players to Watch List. Sophomore Magen Polczynski (Irwin, PA / Norwin) made an immediate impact for the Titans, starting in all 27 games, scoring 8.1 ppg, pocketing a team-best 40 steals, and dishing out 3.0 assists per game (second-best on the team). Junior Alazia Greaves (West Sunbury, PA / Moniteau) added 5.9 ppg and 30 steals as a starter.
Senior Aliya Gage (New Castle, PA / Mohawk) and junior Ashley Russell (Belle Vernon, PA / Belle Vernon) contributed off the bench and in the starting position. Also providing a spark off the bench was senior Brooke Lyczek (Cranberry Twp, PA / Seneca Valley).
Rounding out the returning players for the Titans are senior Maggie Monahan (Youngstown, OH / Cardinal Mooney), and sophomores Asti Brestensky (Freeport, PA / Freeport) and Megan Meyer (New Galilee, PA / Mohawk).
"We have a pretty big bench that we can go to." Scott said. "The first-years have been moving along, obviously some moving along quicker than others, but they've been working hard, they've been great teammates. You'll definitely see some first-years in the lineup playing substantially and then probably some sophomores that you didn't see last year step in."
In this year's PAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, Westminster was picked fourth out of nine teams with 46 points after finishing the 2018-19 season with an overall record of 9-18 and 6-10 in the PAC. The Titans concluded their season with a first-round victory over Waynesburg University in the PAC Playoffs before falling to Grove City in the quarterfinals.
"It was great to end with a big win against Waynesburg in the playoffs." Scott said. "It seems like we always play them in the first round, and for it to be on our home floor which we really worked for, made it a great run for us and I think gave us some confidence moving forward into this year."
Westminster begins the season on the road Friday, November 8 when it travels to Houghton College for a non-conference matchup starting at 7 p.m. The Titans' home-opener is set for Saturday, November 23 against Allegheny at 1:30 p.m.
*Quotes courtesy of WCN Coaches' Corner