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Women's Basketball—2009-10 Season Overview
2010-11 Season Outlook
The Colby College women's basketball team had the best season in program history a year ago and return nine of 11 players for new head coach Christine Clancy.
Colby set a program record for wins in a season with a 24-5 record and the Mules went to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time ever. Colby hosted a first and second round regional, beating Husson in the opening round and then falling to Babson College in overtime in a heartbreaking game.
Clancy had a view of all the wins as a second-year assistant coach. After assistant coaching stints at Smith College and then with the Mules, Clancy takes over as interim head coach. Clancy's team opens the season ranked 21st in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association poll and 23rd in the D3hoops.com poll.
Clancy inherits a team loaded with talent, but the Mules did lose two key players to graduation in Alison Cappelloni and Samantha Allen. However, three starters return and a number of key players are back off the bench.
Junior Rachael Mack (Cony/Augusta, Maine) was an All-Maine selection last year after averaging 10.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and led the team in blocked shots with 39. Senior captain Julianne Kowalski (Montville/Montville, N.J.) led the Mules in rebounding (7.6) and averaged 8.7 points, while junior point guard Aarika Ritchie (Lee Academy/Lee, Maine) returns after dishing a team-best 3.6 assists and averaged 8.8 points.
Diana Manduca (Deering/Portland, Maine) had a fine first season with Colby and was a spark defensively every time she came into the game. Manduca averaged 8.7 points, 2.4 assists, and led Colby in steals with 43. Junior forward Jil Vaughan (Tabor Academy, Wareham, Mass.) may have been the most improved player on last year's team, averaging 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jacky McLaughlin (Medfield/Medfield, Mass.) averaged 4.3 points per game and Kelly Potvin (Dover-Sherborn/Sherborn, Mass.) had four points a contest as key players off the bench. Karlyn Adler (Blind Brook/Rye Brook, N.Y.) missed the second part of the season due to studying abroad, while Jayde Bennett (Kent School/Lynn, Mass.) missed the first part of the year with an injury.
First-year players Jennifer Nale (Waterville/Waterville, Maine) and Gabrielle Donahue (Cape Elizabeth/Cape Elizabeth, Maine) give the Mules some more local talent. Five of Colby's 11 players on the roster are from Maine. Nale was a Miss Maine basketball finalist and is the sister of Colby graduates Tom Nale '05 and Tracy Nale '07. Jen Nale will wear the same number 33 uniform that Tracy wore during her playing days.
2009-10 Season Outlook
The Colby College women's basketball team heads into the 2009 season with an experienced team and senior leadership after having no seniors on the roster a year ago under fifth-year head coach Lori Gear McBride.McBride and the Mules closed out the year with a winning record at 13-12 and made the New England Small College Athletic Conference playoffs for the second straight year. In the first full season on the new court at Wadsworth Gymnasium, Colby played well with a 10-3 record at home.
Senior forward Alison Cappelloni will be a captain for the third straight year and will share leadership duties with captains Samantha Allen and Julianne Kowalski. Cappelloni has 868 points and 457 rebounds in her career with the Mules. She led Colby in scoring (11.5) and was third in rebounding (6.2) a year ago. Cappelloni is the College's all-time 3-point field goal leader with 123 in her career. She also shares the game record (7) and is first for single season (47 in 2007-08).
Allen, a transfer student last year, made an immediate impact in her first year. She led the team in steals (36 total) and was fourth in scoring (10.1) while pulling down 4.5 rebounds a contest.
Kowalski was second in scoring (10.8) and second in rebounding (6.5) in her second season with the Mules. The junior has 470 points and 319 rebounds in her first two years.
Sophomore forward Rachael Mack had one of the largest impacts of any first-year Division III player in New England last year. She was the Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association Rookie of the Year and made the MWBCA All-Rookie Team. Mack was the only player in the NESCAC to lead in three of the eight statistical categories the league puts out each week. She led the conference in blocked shots (1.56 per game), field goal percentage (.558, 101-of-181), and free throw percentage (.846, 66-for-78). Mack also was fifth in the league in rebounding (7.4) and 18th in scoring (10.7).
Colby also had point guard Aarika Ritchie step in as a first year and contribute. She averaged 6.9 points and led the way in assists at 2.4 per game. Karlyn Adler, a junior guard, also returns after averaging 2.5 points a contest.
Jil Vaughan, a 6-foot-3 forward, averaged 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds while playing about 10 minutes per game on the forward line. Kelly Potvin also contributed off the bench and has size as well at 6-1.
The Mules, who led the NESCAC in free throw percentage as a team at .748, also feature first-year players Diana Manduca, Jacky McLaughlin, and Jayde Bennett.