Pacific Women's Basketball Opens Practice In Preparations For France Trip
The Pacific Tigers women's basketball team began their first practices Monday, as the team readies for an August exhibition tour of France.
Head Coach Lynne Roberts will take her 2012-13 squad on a 10-day, four-game excursion through Paris, Lyon and Nice from August 13-23. As part of the tour, the Tigers receive an exemption to practice before the traditional October start-date.
"Returning the bulk of a team that advanced into the post-season last year, one of the main reasons we wanted to do this tour was because it does allow us to get a jump start on our season," Roberts said. "It's a great opportunity to help take our program to the next level. More practice, testing your team in a truly foreign environment. We're grateful for the support to be able to do this. It's going to be a great springboard for the 2012-13 season."
The Tigers return 11 letter-winners from a 2011-12 squad that advanced to the second round of the WNIT. All five starters from the second half of the season are back, including eight of Pacific's top nine scorers.
Last year's leading scorer and First Team All-Big West selection Kendall Rodriguez (13.0 points per game) enters her senior season at forward, along with fellow senior starters guards Erica McKenzie (11.7 PPG, All-Big West Honorable Mention) and Ashley Wakefield (12.2 PPG in 18 starts). With junior guards Gena Johnson (10.2 PPG) and Sam Pettinger (3.4 PPG in 13 starts) as well as sophomore post Kendall Kenyon (6.3 PPG in 18 starts, Big West All-Freshman Team) returning, Pacific has six players who started at least 10 games back for this season.
Pacific also will have five seniors on the squad in 2012-13, as senior forwards Ashley Smith (5.7 PPG) and Brianna Johnson (1.7 PPG) will wrap their final seasons with the Tigers, after coming off the bench as junior college transfers a year ago. Also returning are sophomore guards Kristina Johnson, Claire Conricode, and redshirt freshman guard Hailie Eackles.
The Tigers will depart Stockton for France on August 13, with Paris being the first stop on the tour. For more information visit http://pacific.prestosports.com/sports/w-baskbl/France2012