Yeowomen Motivated by Last Season Playoff Loss
around the corner, and Oberlin College fans are itching to see what the Yeowomen have in store this year. Boasting a healthy 13 player squad, the team will definitely be out to play high-quality basketball. With the departure of senior phenomenon Jessica Oram, who was arguably the most influential player on the team during the 2006-2007 season, it will be interesting to see how Coach Christa Champion will organize things this year. Oram was central on the Oberlin team in the last four campaigns, leaving with 1,369 career points and first team NCAC honors in her final season.
In the guard position, seven players will be competing for starting action, with junior Alyssa Clark leading the pack. Clark was central in the team during the last campaign, leading the league in assists with 111 and scoring an average 11.7 points per game. Sophomores Kayla Brandt and Alicia Smith are fore-runners to occupy the second starting guard position.
Junior Amanda Van Allen, who jumps into action right after the volleyball season, will also be competing for time in the guard position along with first-years Syréa Thomas, Christina Spencer and Katie Thompson. Spencer and Thomas are both natives of Ohio, while Thompson hails from Mt. Pleasant, MI. The team will be looking to its first-years to jump right into things as they launch their careers at Oberlin.
In the forward position, sophomores Emily Finkel, Liz Thompson and Fran Holoman will be in contention for time. After finding their feet in their first season, they will be looking to make a greater impact in this campaign. Some of the guards will definitely be in the mix at the forward position in their struggle to earn some playing time.
With nine points per game last time around, senior Roneisha Kinney leads the post players this season. Kinney saw a lot of playing time last season as she also raked in 6.8 rebounds per game. Fellow senior Valerie Cain and junior January Baker will be looking to get some playing time in the post position. The team members are pumped about the start of the season and are eager to showcase their skills.
Smith expressed her excitement to get out there and play, saying, “We have the potential to do very well this season. I think we are going to surprise a lot of people.”
The Yeowomen start their season away at the Hope Tournament on November 16. Obies get the first opportunity to see them in action at Philips Gymnasium on November 20 against Ohio rivals John Carroll University. Oberlin finished the 2006-2007 season standing at 7-19. The loss to Denison University in the first round of the playoffs was barely a surprise for the Yeowomen, who were seven season victories, a meager amount in comparison to Denison’s 21.
Coach Champion and her team will be looking to improve those stats in this campaign and ultimately make headway in the NCAC championship this year. The two other members of the coaching staff — Janell Crayton and Mitch Gillam — are new to Oberlin, and Champion will be looking to them to provide support as she tries to mold Oberlin into a strong NCAC team.
The season opener is Tuesday Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in Philips Gymnasium. We wish the Yeowomen — especially the first-years — the best as they start a new NCAC campaign launching their Oberlin careers.