Guards to lead women's basketball in new season

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: November 13, 2012
Athletics Preview Photos

Jacky McLaughlin (Dustin Satloff Photography)

WATERVILLE, Maine --- After just missing out on a third straight NCAA tournament appearance, the Colby College women's basketball team will miss their top three scorers from a year ago and have plenty of experience at the guard position.

The Mules open the season Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Bridgewater State in the Maine Maritime Academy Tournament. Colby will play either the host school or University of Maine at Presque Isle in consolation (1 p.m.) or championship (3 p.m.) games on Saturday.

Colby, under second-year head coach Julie Vellieux, will have just two home games before January. 

While Colby will miss All-New England Small College Athletic Conference selections Rachael Mack and Jil Vaughan, the Mules do return a number of guards from last year's 19-7 squad. One other major loss was point guard Aarika Ritchie.

Senior tri-captain Diana Manduca (Portland, Maine) was second on the Mules in assists (89), steals (36), and free-throw percentage (.871). She also was fourth on Colby in scoring (8.4). Senior tri-captain Jacky McLaughlin (Medfield, Mass.) was first on the Mules in made 3-point shots (34), minutes played (30.9), and averaged 6.4 points per contest. 

Jayde Bennett (Lynn, Mass.) was third on the team in assists (57) and averaged 4.1 points, Jen Nale (Belgrade, Maine) was third in made 3-point shots (21) and averaged 4.0 points, and junior tri-captain Gabe Donahue (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) will be a factor at the guard spot as well. 

Sophomore guard Brooke Chandor (Barrington, R.I.) missed her first season due to injury. Jamie Wallace (Piedmont, Calif.) and Kate Parsons (Hampden, Maine) are the lone returning forwards. Appalonia Tankersley (North Andover, Mass.) is back at guard.

Veilleux will have her first recruiting class in place, with five players looking to crack the starting roster or earn quality playing time. First-year guards Desi Smith (Watertown, Wis.), Carylanne Wolfington (Hallowell, Maine), and Mia Diplock (Augusta, Maine) bring more talent to the backcourt. Kim Donaldson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who just played volleyball for Colby, and Taylor Peucker are newcomers on the forward line.

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