Oct. 30, 2006
(San Francisco) - USF opens up the 2006-07 exhibition schedule with a pair of games this week at War Memorial Gym. The Dons welcome cross-town rival San Francisco State Wednesday, November 1 in a 7:00 PM contest and host Sonoma State Saturday, November 4 in an 8:00 PM tip, following USF's volleyball match against Saint Mary's set for 6:00 PM first serve.
USF first year head coach Tanya Haave is pleased with the way her team has responded during the preseason and looks forward to competing against some unfamiliar faces.
"Practice has gone about as well as we could have hoped," Haave said. "We are really progressing. We have gotten some really great efforts from players and we all look forward to playing someone other than ourselves. All three of our freshman have been great, Dominique (Carter) and Shay Rollins have done a nice job. There are a lot of players looking good right now and we are anxious to see them play this week."
San Francisco fields a team featuring four returning starters, headlined by two-time All-West Coast Conference First Team selection junior guard Dominique Carter, who was selected to the preseason all-league team by the WCC coaches. Senior forward Nickie Warren returns and will be counted on for an inside presence on both ends of the floor. Warren was named to a pair of all-tournament teams last season, her first on the Hilltop after transferring from Boston College, and led the club with three double-double nights last year.
Sophomore guard Shay Rollins was the only freshman on last year's roster and was selected to the WCC All-Freshman Team and looks to continue her development as a strong floor general for the Dons. Three dynamic freshmen - Heidi Heintz (Spokane, WA), Katie Mihalco (Englewood, CO) and Randi Richardson (Arlington, WA) - all figure prominently in the mix for Haave's crew.
USF's exhibition games will help the team prepare for the 2006-07 regular season opener at Big-12 opponent Colorado, November 10 in Boulder. Haave spend four seasons as an assistant for the Buffs, under coaching legend and mentor Ceal Barry.
"I am looking for a good effort from my team and looking at some matchups and seeing how kids respond," Haave said. "These are good tests to see where we are as a team. We know both teams are young and they're going to be eager, but we have to be just as eager as they are."
Scouting San Francisco State: Head coach Joaquin Wallace enters his second season with the San Francisco State Gators. Last season, Wallace led the Gators to an 8-19 overall record in his first year as head coach at his alma mater. SFSU finished tied for 10th in the CCAA with a 3-17 record. This season the Gators return five players to the mix, including two starters. Chloe Grimm, a 6-3 senior from Redondo Beach, CA, returns to play for the Gators after a strong 2006-05 season where she averaged 12.3 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. Krystal Mays, a 5-11 sophomore, also returns to the court, after averaging 8.4 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game last season. The last time the two San Francisco teams met was December 8, 1999, when the Dons overpowered the Gators in a 77-40 contest at War Memorial Gym. The Dons lead the overall series with SFSU 8-3.
Scouting Sonoma State: The Sonoma State Seawolves enter the 2006-07 season with head coach Mark Rigby at the reigns of a young team with only two seniors. The Seawolves finished last season with a 10-17 overall record and an eighth place finish in the CCAA with a 7-13 record. Among its top returners, Sonoma States welcomes back Genny Anderson, a 6-0 junior from Castro Valley, CA, who averaged nine points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game last season. Heidi Mertle, a 6-1 sophomore from Santa Rosa, CA, also returns to the mix. Mertle averaged 7.6 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game last season. The two teams last met December 17, 2004 in War Memorial Gym where the Dons earned the 64-53 victory over the Seawolves. The Dons lead the overall series with Sonoma State 2-0.