By: Adam Purvis ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier women’s basketball team is welcoming new players this season who are looking to make an immediate impact.
With the loss of three seniors from last year, the women’s team returns with just a single senior, Maleeka Kynard.
A transfer from Ohio State, Kynard played her freshman through junior seasons as a guard for the Buckeyes and will bring the type of leadership that only a senior leader can.
Returning starter Jenna Crittendon will play for the Musketeers this year as a junior guard.
Crittendon returns after injuries ended her season last year. She ranked the third-highest scoring player on the team even with these missed games.
Before these injuries, Crittendon started in the first 21 games of the season.
In the 21 games Crittendon played, she led the team in free throw percentage (.766) and in rebounding with 6.9 rebounds per game.
Not only was she viewed highly on the team, Crittendon was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll and College Sports Madness Big East Player of the Week in December last year.
With great stats on the court and impressive achievements off the court, Crittendon can be an “X”-Factor and is a player to keep an eye on this season.
Sophomore Leah Schaefer will be returning this season as a forward. Schaefer had an impressive freshman year with appearances in 26 games and 24 starts.
With a successful start to her freshman year, Schaefer’s six rebounds per contest was ranked 13th in the Big East conference last season and 10th in defensive rebounds last season with 4.8 pergame.
Even with a foot injury in the latter half of the season, she was able to put up these impressive stats and played well against Georgetown in the first round of the Big East Tournament.
With this experience, Musketeer fans can expect Schaefer to be a significant player this season for the Muskies.
The Xavier’s women’s basketball team will return with much to look forward to with the arrival of a few players who were ineligible to play last season.
Erica Dawson was redshirted last season after enduring a knee injury during offseason workouts.
Dawson may not have been able to play last season at guard, but she made an impact during her high school career in Ohio.
Dawson was ranked 47th for her position during her junior year of high school by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, and she was named first team All-East Central Ohio League and East Ohio Central League Player of the Year.
She broke many records at her school, and even broke the OHSAA single-season scoring record with 714 points.
Martha Thompson redshirted last season with a knee injury too.
With the same problem and position in high school, Thompson made her mark in high school as well with an impressive ranking by ESPN as 38th nationally.
With a young team full of other sophomores and freshmen looking to establish themselves as important attributes to the team, Xavier’s women’s basketball team will look toward its leaders as they head into the season looking for a hot start.