BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's basketball team is set to begin its 2018-19 season Friday at Houghton before coming home to host Chatham Saturday at the KOA Arena.
Pitt-Bradford is guided by second-year head coach Sharay Hall, who led the Panthers to a 15-11 season and an 11-7 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference mark, which was good for the No. 3 seed in the AMCC Tournament.
The Panthers advanced to the conference semifinals where they had their playoff run cut short in a double-overtime heartbreaker against Mount Aloysius. Last season, the Panthers were led by fourth-best scorer in the nation in senior Ali Rinfrette (22.5 points per game), who earned a spot on the All-AMCC First Team and was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American.
This season, the coaches of the AMCC picked the Panthers to finish second in the Preseason Coaches' Poll, with Hilbert repeating as conference champs.
Additionally, Jennifer Isenberg was named the AMCC's Co-Preseason Player of the Year. The senior landed a spot on the All-AMCC Second Team last season and is the AMCC's leading returning rebounder with 10.3 boards per game last season. She finished 11th in the AMCC last year with 14.7 points per game and 15 points per game in conference play.
"A great deal of our success this season will depend on all of our returning players. Each of them must step up as leaders and play major roles for the team," Hall said. "Shaelyn and Jennifer will contribute a great push on offense, and Etreece will be dominant the boards and be a defensive presence inside."
New to the Panthers this season is junior Jenna Hicks (Franklinville, N.Y.), and freshmen Latifah Cain (Philadelphia Pa.), Jasmin Miller (Chester, Pa.) and Jetiah Foster (Kingston, Pa.). Rejoining the program this season are juniors Shirleah Ragin and Shana Ross.
"I'm expecting all of our newcomers to play important roles as well," Hall said. "Latifah, our freshman point guard, will play a significant role in our team's success. Jasmin's versatility and ability to play both inside and outside-of-the-paint will provide useful opportunities to the team, as well as a spark of energy. Everyone on our roster contributes something different and necessary for our team to be successful."
Including Saturday's home opener, Pitt-Bradford will have 12 home contests at the KOA Arena, all of which coming as doubleheaders with the men's team playing after.
The first home AMCC action will be Wednesday, Nov. 28, as Medaille comes to the KOA Arena.
"Ultimately, this season we want to focus on improving as a team," Hall concluded. "Each game, we will step on the court ready to compete and strive to be the best we can be. We would like to build off the energy from last year and take it to another level. I am excited to see what this group will accomplish, and I'm looking forward to having a successful season. Hail to Pitt!"
Friday's season opener at Houghton is set for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff while Saturday's action at the KOA Arena against Chatham will begin at 3 p.m.