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Lady Polar Bear basketball looks to continue winning ways

The Lady Polar Bears show energy from their bench last season, led by Senior Tri-Captain Mary Miller (Northern Review Photo/ ONU Sports Information)

The time has arrived for the shoes to be laced up, and for the Lady Polar Bears of Ohio Northern University to hit the hardwood, as the 2014-2015 women’s basketball season is upon us.

The Lady Polar Bear’s come into the season lead by head coach, Michele Durand. Durand, approaching her 14th season as the head coach for the Polar Bears, has high hopes for the team this season. Selected in the OAC coaches poll, ONU was projected to finish second in the conference this season. Last year, the team finished with an impressive record of 23-6, and 14-4 in OAC contests. The team continued on to making their third consecutive conference championship appearance and a second consecutive NCAA Division III tournament appearance. The team loses 3 starters to graduation in point guard Sara Kocian, hustle and defensive stud Taylor Hermiller, and 1000-point club member and most likely, future ONU Hall of Famer, Cenzie Yoder. 

The squad has 2 returning starters coming back to the lineup, one being senior forward Jordan Kimes. Kimes comes into this season coming off a hot season last year, earning a preseason All-American D3 mention. She led the team last year in scoring (15.5 PPG), rebounding (9.0 RPG), field goal percentage (.593), 3-point percentage (.543) and blocks (56) on her way to third team All-Great Lakes Region by D3hoops.com. The other returning starter would be senior guard, Kaitlyn Theisen, who is an outside threat from 3-point land, as well as a tough nosed defender on the court. 

Coach Durand has all the confidence in her returning players, for example, Britt Lauck and juniors Carly Thomas and Brooke Espenschied, who bring some experience to the young roster. "Britt has a good ability to get to the basket, as well as knock down the outside shot.” said coach Durand about her sophomore guard. Thomas, Espenschied and Lauck all bring the ability to shoot from beyond the arc, but also drive to the rim and draw contact, as the three were exceptional from the free-throw line last season, as well as 3-point land. 

Durand says the point guard position is wide open this season and is still up for grabs. Sophomore Angela Tesny has shown some impressive skill at the position, but she will still compete for the spot. Jenna Hollar, Lindsay Black, Mary Komandt and Jenny Miller make up the impressive freshman cast and all will battle Tesney for the position. Durand is excited about the youth movement for the team and wants to the see the freshman battle for playing time, as she expects them to make impacts immediately on the court.

The Polar Bears open the 2014-15 campaign with the Franklin (Ind.) Tip-Off Tournament, on Nov. 15-16, where they will face Trine (Ind.) followed by Franklin (Ind.). They open up home action on Nov. 19 versus Kenyon College. Best of luck to the Lady Bears this season as they look to continue their tradition of winning on the court this season. 

2 Comments

Casey Mulcahy says:

Last Revised 11/14/14

Submitted by Casey Mulcahy on Fri, 11/14/2014 - 10:20pm
Casey Mulcahy says:

Edited 12/3/14 @ 6:04 by Casey Mulcahy

Submitted by Casey Mulcahy on Wed, 12/03/2014 - 6:06pm

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