Behind rising leadership, Women’s Basketball looks to build on last year’s success

In many ways, the 2015-16 season was a banner year for Colby Women’s Basketball. The team finished fifth in the NESCAC with a 6-4 record and advanced to the league semifinals with a playoff victory over Connecticut College. Headed by new coach Brittany Gaetano, the Mules will look to build on last year’s success starting this Friday, November 18 against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine.

The Mules were led by an exceptional group of seniors in last year’s campaign. Starters Carylanne Wolfington ’16, Desi Smith ’16, and Mia Diplock ’16 all averaged at least 10 points per game last season. The sharpshooting Wolfington will go down as a program legend after finishing ninth on Colby’s all-time scoring list and being named to the Northeast All-Region Team and NESCAC first team. While Coach Gaetano will not be able to replace that kind of production immediately, the Mules have a number of reasons to be excited about the coming season.

Center Haley Driscoll ’18 and guard MaryKate Caverly ’17 return as starters. Driscoll was a force in the low block last year, leading the team in rebounds (6.3 per game), blocks (0.7 per game), and shooting percentage (51.6). Caverly should get more touches this year after recording 5.7 points per game and 3.0 assists per game last season. Joining Caverly in the backcourt will be Caitlyn Nolan ’17 who could be one of the team’s main offensive weapons in her senior season.

Next to Driscoll will likely be Emily Davis ’19, who played in all 26 games as a first-year last season, averaging 16 minutes per contest. This could be a breakout year for the Sudbury, Mass. native with more minutes available to her. Elsewhere, Lauren Barnhart ’17 and Abby Johnson ’18 will look to compete for starting minutes.

Guards Sarah Hancock ’19 and Kaitlyn McCrum ’19 should provide some much-needed spark off the bench. Despite so many young players, the team will also be able to look to Cam Kelso ’18 and Amanda Loya ’18 for experience. Paige Russell ’20, Karli Loiselle ’20, Jane MacKerron ’20, and Ainsley Burns ’20 round out the Mules’ freshman class.

After opening the season with three away games, the team will return to the Wadsworth Gymnasium on November 27 for their home opener against University of Maine-Fort Kent. The team will play the majority of their non-conference games in November and December before beginning NESCAC play on January 6 with a short trip down to Bates College. The Mules have a long season ahead, but appear to be well-equipped to make some noise in the NESCAC.

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