Lady ‘Stangs Have Sights Set High

Katherine Hussey

You’re only as good as your seniors. If that saying is true,
this year’s group of Mustangs will be just fine.
Gilroy – You’re only as good as your seniors. If that saying is true, this year’s group of Mustangs will be just fine.

Despite losing seven players to graduation, Gilroy returns a veteran senior core of three-year varsity players Kristen Campos, Katherine Hussey and Marissa Nowakowski, all of whom earned All-TCAL honors as juniors last season.

In fact, from top to bottom, Gilroy has plenty of talent in its roster.

“There’s going to be a dogfight for playing time,” said Gilroy head coach Kari Williams.

This year’s backcourt will have an abundance with floor general Campos running the point. Nowakowski will play shooting guard while Hussey, who has returned from a volleyball season-ending ankle injury is a versatile and athletic player who could play shooting guard, small forward or in the paint.

The Mustangs lost some height around the basket with the loss of TCAL first team selection Amanda Link. But Gilroy has a few players that should fill that void, beginning with 5-foot-10 senior Jessica Groppe. Williams also pulled up 6-foot-tall junior Dana Schoeneman and 5-foot-10 Russhelle Preeshl from the JV team where they led the team in scoring and rebounding last year.

Two other players that could make an impact are sophomores Amanda Spellman and Vanessa Wilkins. Wilkins, a player with great natural athletic and jumping ability could play almost any position on the court, Williams said.

Like last season, Williams expects the Mustangs to score a lot of points, especially in transition. But one area she’d like to see improve is defense. Although the team could run up the score last year, it also allowed a lot of points on several occasions. Williams cited last year’s 71-68 barn-burner against Salinas in February.

“I looked at that and I thought, ‘That’s great, we put up 71 points.’ But it also means we gave up 68,” she said. “We’ve really been focusing on defense… I’ve always liked to think we play a pretty good defense. In my first couple years, we were very successful.”

Notre Dame, which has never lost a TCAL game, and Salinas will be Gilroy’s biggest competition in league. Outside of league play, the ‘Stangs will travel to Phoenix over winter break to compete in the Nike Tournament of Champions II. Gilroy went 1-3 at the competitive tournament last year and will go up against some of the country’s toughest teams again right before TCAL play begins.

“It’ll be a really exciting season for us,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of fun and new players we’re adding in that are fun to watch. They want to play, they want to be students of the game and I think that’s awesome.”

2004-2005 Result

20-10 overall, 7-3 in TCAL (2nd place), lost in CCS semifinals to Wilcox

Key Returners

Kristen Campos (Sr., PG); Katherine Hussey (Sr., G/F); Marissa Nowakowski (Sr., G)

Key Losses

Amanda Link (F/C);

Kendall Costa (F);

ichelle DiFiore (F)

Top Newcomers

Vanessa Wilkins (So.; G/F);

Dana Schoeneman (Jr.; F)

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