Lady Monarchs Kick Off 2009-10 Season With Annual Blue-White Scrimmage
By ODU Athletics
Nov. 2, 2009
NORFOLK, Va. -- ODU will tip-off for the first time this season tomorrow night, as the Lady Monarchs play in the annual Blue-White game to be held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free for the fans first chance to see the Lady Monarchs in action prior to the 2009-10 season.
This season, ODU welcomes back four players with starting experience, including three starters from last season. Pre-season All-CAA First Team forward Jessica Canady (Williamsburg, Va.) leads the way after finishing second in the league in rebounding (9.6 rpg) last season. Canady is also the team's leading returning scorer, after posting 12.6 points per contest last season. She will be joined up front by Mairi Buchan (Stirlingshire, Scotland), coming off a rookie season with 10 starts at center. Buchan averaged just under 20 minutes in her first season, hauling in 100 boards and playing in all 30 games.
Returning in the backcourt are juniors Jasmine Parker (Norfolk, Va.) and Shadasia Green (Patterson, N.J.). Parker stepped in two start 14 games last season as a sharp-shooter from outside, averaging 35.1% shooting from deep. She ranked third on the team in scoring with 10.2 points per game and returns the most assists this season, after dishing 58 last season. Green came into her own during the year, starting 21 of 23 games played and averaging 9.3 ppg with 6.0 rpg. The New Jersey native brings the most starting experience behind Canady into the season.
Old Dominion will see the return of four others in 2009-10, led by junior guard Vicki Collier. Collier played in 11 games last season scoring 27 points and hauling in 25 boards. She's joined by junior forward Alena Voronina, sophomore guard Pryncess Tate-Dublin and redshirt freshman JoNiquia Guilford. The returning group will be leaned on for significant minutes this season as ODU looks to return the CAA Championship to Norfolk for the 18th time in the last 19 seasons.
Newcomers to the team in 2009-10 will have an immediate impact. Tia Lewis, a 6-3 forward from Poulan, Georgia, will factor into the picture right away. After sitting out a season due to NCAA Transfer Regulations, Lewis is chomping at the bit to contribute on the floor. She was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2007-08 after leading the league in rebounding and ranking fifth nationally. She also led the team in scoring, averaging a double-double with 12.0 ppg and 11.5 rpg.
Depth at the guard position will come from newcomers as well. Transfer point guard Kquanise Byrd (St. Petersburg, Fla.) will be listed as a junior after coming in from Miami-Dade College, where she ranked first in Florida and third in the NJCAA in scoring with 24.4 points per contest. International student-athletes Carolann Cloutier (Montreal, Quebec) and Becca Allison (Edinburgh, Scotland) will factor in at the point guard position as top recruits from their native countries. Cloutier has good size and length for a point guard, listed at 5-9, and Allison shows tremendous quickness with and without the ball. Jackie Cook (Hinckley, Ohio) rounds out the incoming class as a swing guard and possible relief at the small forward position. Cook, at 6 feet tall, provides Coach Larry and her staff with options at both positions. Coming in with two state championships, Cook's experience will be beneficial in the shooting game as well as on the blocks.
ODU is coming off a 17-13 record last season, including an 11-7 mark in CAA action. The team was eliminated from the CAA Championship for the first time since the 1990-91 season, breaking an NCAA record 17-straight conference championship streak. The Lady Monarchs, coached by Wendy Larry, will be looking to bounce back with one of the most challenging schedules in the country, featuring five pre-season Top 25 teams in the non-conference slate.
Old Dominion will open the regular season at home against the preseason No. 2 Stanford Cardinal, a national semifinalist last season. That game will tip at 7:00 p.m. on November 13 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.
Mini-Monarch Kids Club Clinic:
Fans, the Lady Monarchs basketball team also will feature a free clinic tomorrow prior to the Blue-White Scrimmage. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., boys and girls of all ages are welcomed to join the Lady Monarchs in a free clinic at the Ted. Registration will begin at 4:00 p.m.