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Women’s college hoops preview: District teams, players to watch |
District College

Women’s college hoops preview: District teams, players to watch

Ed Mailliard | Thiel athletics
Thiel’s Jess Vormelker led the Presidents’ Athletic Conference in scoring and rebounding last season.
Point Park athletics
Hempfield graduate Michelle Burns was River States Conference Freshman of the Year last season.
Keith Boyer | IUP Communications
Greensburg Central Catholic graduate Carolyn Appleby helped lead IUP to the national semifinals last season.

Division II

Teams to watch

IUP : The Crimson Hawks bring back three senior starters from a team that went 30-4 and reached the national semifinals: Greensburg Central Catholic’s Carolyn Appleby (15.4 points), North Catholic’s Lauren Wolosik (9.4 points, 5.1 assists) and Brittany Robinson (9.3 points, 7.0 rebounds). They’re ranked fifth in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association preseason poll.

Cal (Pa.) : Central Valley graduate Seairra Barrett, the last link to the 2014-15 national championship team, is back after redshirting last season with injury. The former All-PSAC selection will look to lead the Vulcans to the NCAA Tournament for the 16th time in the past 18 years.

Edinboro : Despite all of IUP’s talent, it was the defending league champion Fighting Scots who were predicted to finish first in the PSAC West in the preseason poll. New coach Callie Wheeler takes over a team that features four returning All-PSAC starters, led by PSAC West Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Ciara Rosten (15.8 points, 12.2 rebounds) and Jontay Walton (16.5 points).

Players to watch

Cheyenne Trest, Seton Hill sophomore : Canon-McMillan graduate earned PSAC West Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 14 points.

Brooke Hinderliter, Slippery Rock junior : Redbank Valley product and second-team All-PSAC West selection averaged 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Gabrielle Smith, Pitt-Johnstown junior : Quigley Catholic grad was a second-team All-PSAC West selection, averaged 14.5 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Did you know?

Edinboro, IUP and Cal combined to go 81-15 last season and featured the three stingiest defenses in the PSAC.

Division III/NAIA

Teams to watch

Washington & Jefferson : After going 22-6 last winter, the Presidents will try to remake themselves on the fly around senior All-PAC selection and Canon-McMillan product Danielle Parker (13.4 points, 7.9 rebounds). The 19-player roster features 15 freshmen or sophomores.

La Roche : The Redhawks went 11-15 last season but welcome back coach Kam Gissendanner, who spent a year as an assistant at LaSalle. She led La Roche to five straight Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference titles before leaving.

Saint Vincent : Although no player averaged more than 10 points last season, the Bearcats went 19-10 and finished third in the PAC. They bring back three starters.

Players to watch

Michelle Burns, Point Park sophomore : Hempfield graduate earned River States Conference Newcomer of the Year award after averaging 13 points and 3.5 assists.

Jess Vormelker, Thiel senior : Led PAC in scoring (19.8 ppg) and rebounding (9.5 rpg) last season and was a second-team All-PAC selection.

Delaney Arbore, Allegheny senior : Norwin product averaged 14 points last season and was selected second-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference.

Did you know?

Eleven players averaged 10 or more minutes for Saint Vincent last season.

Jeff Vella is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at or via Twitter @JeffVella_Trib.

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