Basketball Preview: The Hatchet’s Women’s Atlantic 10 Predictions

West

1. Virginia Tech (28-3, 15-1)- Head Coach Bonnie Hendrickson.
Despite graduating five seniors, the Lady Hokies return three starters, including juniors Tere Williams (15.6 ppg) and Amy Wetzel (14.4 ppg).
2. Xavier (24-9, 11-5)- Head Coach Melanie Balcomb.
Xavier returns four starters who scored in double digits last season, including junior Nicole Levandusky (15.8 ppg). The Muskateers have two 6-3 centers but must deal with the loss of guard Nikki Kremer and her 8.6 assists per game.
3. George Washington (19-9, 12-4)- Head Coach Joe McKeown.
Senior guard Elisa Aguilar (15.4 ppg) and forward Petra Dubovcova (10.6 ppg) lead a fast GW team that features the additions of three talented freshmen. The Colonial women will need strong perimeter shooting to make up for the loss of leading scorer Noelia Gomez.
4. Dayton (11-17, 6-10)- Head Coach Jaci Clark.
The second-year head coach returns seven players and have six newcomers this season.
5. La Salle (14-14, 6-10)- Head Coach John Miller.
La Salle is a young team that has no seniors on its roster. Coach Miller will rely heavily on junior guard Jen Zenszer (13.6 ppg).
6. Duquesne (15-13, 7-9)- Head Coach Dan Durkin.
Duquesne lost five seniors and will look to LynnDee Howell (17.8 ppg) for its scoring. Other than Howell, the Lady Dukes have no player who averaged more than five points per game last season.

East

1. St. Joseph’s (23-8, 14-2)- Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley.
Coach Gaitley returns three of the team’s four top scorers from last season, including sophomore Susan Moran (14.7 ppg) and senior Angela Zampella (11.3 ppg). The Lady Hawks have led the A-10 in scoring defense five of the last seven seasons.
2. Massachusetts (16-14, 11-5)- Head Coach Joanie O’Brien.
UMass is a young and talented team that features five new players this season. Kathy Coyner (11.0 ppg) returns.
3. St. Bonaventure (10-17, 4-12)- Head Coach Marti Whitmore.
The injury-plagued St. Bonaventure team has healed and will be led by junior Melissa Fazio (16.4 ppg), who missed the latter part of the season with a broken ankle.
4. Fordham (9-18, 5-11)- Head Coach Kevin Morris.
Fordham will look to Chinyere Vann (13.5 ppg) for scoring, but the Lady Rams must rely on freshman Mollie Fitzgerald at the point guard position.
5. Temple (8-19, 4-12)- Head Coach Kristen Foley.
Temple lost Dawn Ingram to graduation and must rely heavily on the outside shooting of junior Natalia Isaac. Isaac made 29 three-point attempts last season.
6. Rhode Island (5-22, 1-15)- Head Coach Belinda Pearman.
Coach Pearman enters a struggling program that returns only one starter, sophomore Colleen Mullen (8.5 ppg). It might be a very long year for Rhode Island.

-Zach Leibowitz

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