JOIN OUR BUNCH - Old Dominion Women's Basketball Team Kicks Off Season With Annual Blue-White Game
By ODU Athletics
Oct. 25, 2007
NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion women's basketball team kicks off the 2007-08 season with the annual Blue-White game on Friday, October 26th at 7:00 p.m. The Lady Monarchs return eight letterwinners from last year's 24-9 squad. Among the returnees include starters in T.J. Jordan, two-time CAA Tournament MVP and three-point record holder, and Tiffany Green, a Preseason All-CAA selection and leading rebounder.
Current and future Lady Monarch Pride members are invited to the first Lady Monarch Pride on Friday as well. The meeting will begin with an opportunity for Pride members (and prospective members) to attend the shoot-around, which will be from 1:00-2:00 p.m. at the Ted. Immediately following the shoot-around, members are invited to attend the pre-game meal with the team. Contact Lady Monarch Pride President Judy Bowman (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan to attend the pre-game meal.
The Old Dominion women's basketball team knows that in order to bring home that 17th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title they must work together as a family. The squad is a mix of veterans and youth with many of its returning members looking to elevate their game to uphold the longstanding Lady Monarch tradition.
Those who have been coming off the bench, seniors Tay Ransburg, Megan Pym, and Shahida Williams, juniors Jazzmin Walters and Jen Nuzzo, and sophomore Jessica Canaday, are ready to see more playing time and produce larger numbers to help the Lady Monarchs to victory.
The Lady Monarchs will also add six newcomers to the mix including redshirt freshman Vicki Collier along with Sierra Little, Alena Voronia, Shadasia Green, and Jasmine Parker, as well as junior college transfer Dawn Coleman.
Senior T.J. Jordan has already rewritten much of the Old Dominion three-point record books and returns as the Lady Monarchs' top returning scorer. Jordan enters the season 22nd on the all-time scoring list and the only three-point record left for her to break is career three-pointers, needing only 10 more shots from downtown to swish through the net. Since becoming a regular member of the starting line-up her sophomore season, Jordan has averaged 13.9 points per game, including last season's average of 14.5 points per contest. A fiery competitor who leaves her heart on the floor, Jordan has been named the CAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player for two consecutive seasons.
Junior Jazzmin Walters may be small in size, but can be big trouble for opponents on the court. Walters ranked 14th in the conference in assists and assist/turnover ratio and ranked 12th among league members in steals per game. As a sophomore last season she led the team in assists and finished seventh on the all-time ODU sophomore assists leaders list. Defensively, Walters disrupts the flow of the opposition.
Jen Nuzzo returned to the line-up last season healthy and was a steady contributor from off the bench. As a back-up point guard, she averaged 2.1 points, which included a season-high nine against conference rival Drexel. Nuzzo is consistently one of the hardest working Lady Monarchs in the gym.
There are also plenty of new faces at guard. Fans will have to wait a little longer to see Vicki Collier take the court donning the blue and silver. Collier, who suffered a dislocated patella on her right knee will be on the sidelines until the new year. She does however already have the Lady Monarch system down and is eager to contribute right away. Scholastically, she scored over 1,000 career points and nearly grabbed 1,000 career boards.
Also adding to the mix will be Dawn Coleman, a junior college transfer from Monroe Community College. Coleman is no stranger to what it takes to bring home championships. During her career with the Lady Tribunes, she helped the squad capture their third straight national title and fourth over the course of six seasons. Last season she averaged 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game as she was named to the Western New York Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team.
Shadasia Green and Jasmine Parker are two rookies adding to this year's bunch. Green is another newcomer who knows about winning championships. The two-time Herald News Player of the Year led Eastside High School to its sixth consecutive Passaic County Tournament title averaging 21 points and five rebounds. Green is also a three-time all-area and all-county selection and was named the Passaic County Tournament MVP. Parker is a local product from nearby Granby High School where she was a two-time Eastern District Player of the Year. Parker averaged 19.3 points, five steals, and six assists as a senior.
By the end of the season last year, fans got to see Tiffany Green back in her All-CAA rookie form. Coming off a fractured foot in 2005-06, Green worked hard to get back into condition and by the end of the year led Old Dominion in rebounding and double-doubles and was third on the squad in scoring. Green moved back into the starting rotation for 11 of the final 12 games last season including the CAA and NCAA Tournaments. She capped off the season with two of her higher scoring games by leading ODU with 16 points in the CAA championship game against James Madison and 17 points in the NCAA First Round versus Florida State.
Pym is also one of the hardest working members of the team both on and off the court. Averaging 2.8 points and 3.0 rebounds last season, her stats do not measure the little things she does to help the Lady Monarchs. Pym can always be seen diving or jumping into the sidelines for the loose ball, pumping her teammates up during a run, or providing a defensive presence in the paint.
Ransburg made her Lady Monarch debut last season averaging 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Her shot blocking prowess followed her from Kansas as she ranked fifth in the league in the category. Ransburg is still awaiting a decision from the NCAA regarding her sixth year of eligibility.
Canady made her Old Dominion debut by averaging 2.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. With a year under her belt, including minutes against some of the best teams in the nation, her numbers should increase.
Sierra Little and Alena Voronina will be welcomed to the Lady Monarch family this season. Both played AAU ball together with the Lady Phoenix posting a 55-3 mark, which included capturing a title in the Boo Williams Tournament in the summer of 2006. Little considered one of the top prospects out of North Carolina, averaged 13 points and eight rebounds as a senior at Dudley High School in Greensboro. During her career, Little helped her team to two 3-A Eastern Regional state semifinals games and earned two all-conference selections as well as a nod to the All-Eastern Regional team as a senior. Voronina, a two-time all-conference pick, helped her Forsyth Country Day team to a 32-8 mark as she led the NCISAA Piedmont League in rebounds, steals, and blocked shots, and ranked third in points.
Another challenging schedule awaits the Old Dominion women's basketball team in 2007-08. It could perhaps be the most difficult schedule in Lady Monarch history as the team prepares to battle 10 teams that advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament, including national champion Tennessee and perennial powerhouse Connecticut, along with three WNIT participants.
"Murderer's row," commented Larry upon looking over her upcoming slate. "We will be well tested come conference time."
The regular season kicks off against Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders, who reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, will be the first of five non-conference opponents to come to the Ted Constant Convocation Center and serve as the Lady Monarchs' opponent for homecoming. Other opponents setting foot inside the Constant Center include Charlotte, Penn State, Michigan State, and Delaware State. The Lady Monarchs host the 49ers, who reached the second round of the WNIT, after traveling the last two seasons to Charlotte. It will be ODU's first-ever meeting with Michigan State, who reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament falling to national runner-up Rutgers. The Lady Lions and Lady Monarchs meet for the seventh straight season, while the DSU Hornets, another NCAA Tournament participant and conference champion, come to Norfolk for the second straight year.
Also included on this year's schedule is the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas over Thanksgiving weekend. Old Dominion will participate in a bracket that features some of the top teams in the nation. Included in the Lady Monarchs' "Island Division" of the St. Thomas bracket are games with Connecticut and Stanford. Old Dominion has not seen the Huskies since their Elite Eight appearance in 2002 and will match-up with the Cardinal for the first time since the magical run to the national championship game in 1997. A third game is slated for the Virgin Islands trip against a team featured on the other side of the bracket in the "Reef Division". The Lady Monarchs will take on either Duke, Purdue, or Temple. Other road trips this season include dates with East Carolina, the annual meeting with Tennessee, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt. East Carolina and Vanderbilt, along with Tennessee, all had post-season action in March. The Pirates won the Conference-USA title a season ago and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1982, while the Commodores reached the second round.
CAA action gets under way right after the New Year with the Lady Monarchs traveling to Georgia State. The conference is coming off its most successful season in history with four teams making postseason play with three NCAA bound (ODU, James Madison, & Delaware) and Hofstra advancing to the Elite Eight of the WNIT. All four teams made regular appearances in the national polls last season. The CAA will return six of last season's top 10 scorers, six of the top 10 rebounders, seven of the top 11 assist leaders, and four of the top five leaders in steals. CAA teams will also welcome back 67 percent of their starters from a year ago, including seven student-athletes who earned all-conference honors.
Other conference road games include UNC-Wilmington, William & Mary, Northeastern, Delaware, George Mason, Towson, Virginia Commonwealth, and James Madison.
There will be nine CAA games coming to the Constant Center this winter, where the Lady Monarchs hold a 50-1 all-time record against league opponents since the building opened in the fall of 2002. CAA runner-up James Madison will be the first conference opponent of the new season with the schedule also including Virginia Commonwealth, Georgia State, UNC-Wilmington, William & Mary in the annual "Hoops For A Cure" game, Northeastern, Drexel, George Mason, and the regular season coming to a close on Senior Day against Hofstra.
Be sure to join the bunch this season.