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March 30, 2010

2009-2010 Season - 2010 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL REVIEW

The Augustana women’s basketball team wrapped up its most successful campaign in several years with a 66-59 victory over North Central in the season finale, giving the Vikings seven victories. The seven wins marks the most in a single year under fourth year head coach Bobbi Endress and the highest total since the 2003-04 season. The Blue & Gold complete 2009-10 with an overall mark of 7-18 and a 2-12 record in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.

After starting 0-2, the Vikings won three straight games, quickly equaling the season total from a year ago. Augustana defeated Piedmont (68-65) at the Colorado College Tournament and then returned home to earn wins over Webster (60-50) and Heidelberg (63-61). Two more road losses followed, but the Vikings rallied back once again with two more victories at the Carver Center. A (56-51) decision over Cornell evened Augustana’s record at 4-4 and an impressive (61-48) win against Aurora gave Augustana a 5-4 record.

The Vikings continued to struggle on the road, losing twice more and falling to 5-6 before opening CCIW league action. Augustana soared to 5-0 at home with a (50-43) victory against North Park. A difficult stretch in the schedule saw the Blue & Gold hit the road for five of the next contests. Although three of the losses were by 10 points or less including a five point defeat at Millikin and a four point decision at North Central, the Vikings dropped all five of those contests. Augustana fought hard, but also lost its first home game of the year to a strong team from Carthage (78-71).

Along the way, Augustana dealt with injuries to three of its key guards, with senior Kristen Fox (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.), and freshmen Dori Gills (Holy Family HS, Boulder, Colo.) and Gianna Pecora (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) all being forced out of action. The Blue & Gold were unable to notch another victory before the win over the Cardinals. Fox keyed the season ending victory with 23 points to end the season on a positive note.

Fox led the team with an 11.2 scoring average for the second straight season. She played in 15 games and made 14 starts. Although limited due to injuries, Fox led the team at 28.3 minutes per game when she was healthy. She also contributed 26 steals and 4.9 rebounds per contest. Fox was the team’s top free throw shooter, knocking down 85.1 percent (40-47) of her opportunities from the line.

Sophomore Lani Kasten (Forreston HS, German Valley, Ill.) tallied 9.8 points per game and led the team with a total of 246 points. She played in all 25 games, including 22 as a starter. Kasten also clocked a team high in minutes with 673, averaging 26.9 per contest. She shot 46.6 percent (88-189) from the floor and led the team with a 6.5 rebound average. Kasten was far and away the team leader with 21 blocks and also finished second on the squad with 47 assists and 28 steals.

Sophomore Natalie Runge (St. Dominic HS, O’Fallon, Mo.) finished third on the team with a 9.2 scoring averaging, ending the year with 229 points. She competed in all 25 games and made 23 starts to lead the Blue & Gold. Runge shot 45.9 percent (90-196) from the field and also grabbed a team high 46 boards on the offensive glass. She was second on the team with a 5.8 rebounding average and also contributed 29 assists and 10 steals.

Gills and fellow freshman Kristin Warnken (Centaurus HS, Erie, Colo.) both contributed in their first year with the Vikings. Gills made 14 starts in 21 appearances and averaged 5.8 points in 19.9 minutes of action. She made 21 assists and had 15 steals. Warnken had 19 starts and played all 25 games while averaging 24.9 minutes per contest. She led the team with 52 assists, 29 steals, and 25 three point field goals.

Junior Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) made 10 starts in 24 games and scored 100 points for a 4.2 scoring average. She connected on 47.4 percent (36-76) of her shots and grabbed 75 rebounds. Kernich added 21 assists and 14 steals while averaging 17.0 minutes per game.

Sophomore Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) played in 24 games and earned eight starts in her second season. She scored 92 points and averaged 18.2 minutes per contest. Staples was second on the team with 20 three point field goals for the year. She also snared 45 rebounds and dished out 35 assists.

Pecora and junior Alyssa Neitzel (Providence Catholic HS, Shorewood, Ill.) each played in 17 games for Augustana. Pecora made four starts and averaged 15.1 minutes per contest. She finished with 56 points, 31 rebounds, and 17 assists. Neitzel earned three starts and averaged 10.9 minutes of action. She totaled 45 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and knocked down 11 three point buckets.

Freshman Kelsey Mikula (Coal City HS, Coal City, Ill.) and sophomore Elizabeth Phillips (Grayslake North HS, Lake Villa, Ill.) both saw action off the bench in a majority of games, although Phillips did receive two spot starts. Mikula nailed 10 three point field goals and finished with 45 points. She also had 25 rebounds. Phillips contributed 33 points on 43.8 percent (14-32) shooting and also snatched 23 boards.

Sophomores Kristina Howard (Cherokee Trail HS, Aurora, Colo.) and Brianna Skeens (Vernon Hills HS, Vernon Hills, Ill.) each played in 23 games as reserves. Howard finished with 36 points and 43 rebounds while Skeens scored 29 points and contributed 44 rebounds.

Sophomore Jessica Scott (Morrison HS, Morrison, Ill.) played in 15 games and made one start. She scored 12 points and finished with 10 rebounds. Sophomore Allie Scaggs (Petersburg Porta HS, Petersburg, Ill.) played in nine contests and had four rebounds and two assists. Junior Kayla Papish (Rock Island Alleman HS, East Moline, Ill.) saw action in seven games, grabbing three rebounds and making one steal.

2010 CCIW WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

 

CCIW

 

 

OVERALL

 

 

TEAM

WON

LOSS

.PCT

WON

LOSS

.PCT

Illinois Wesleyan

13

1

.929

24

1

.960

Carthage

12

2

.857

22

3

.880

Elmhurst

10

4

.714

17

8

.680

Millikin

9

5

.643

15

10

.600

Wheaton

6

8

.429

13

12

.520

AUGUSTANA

2

12

.143

7

18

.280

North Central

2

12

.143

5

20

.200

North Park

2

12

.143

5

20

.200

 

2009-10 AUGUSTANA VIKING WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SUPERLATIVES

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Natalie Runge
DEFENSIVE AWARD: Dawn Kernich
MOST IMPROVED: Alyssa Neitzel
VIKING AWARD: Natalie Runge
WINDEX (REBOUNDING) AWARD: Lani Kasten
CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Kelsey Mikula, Kayla Papish, Jessica Scott
COACH’S AWARD: Dawn Kernich
JUNIOR VARSITY MVP: Jessica Scott & Courney Bielis

HIGHEST VICTORY TOTAL SINCE 2003-04: Seven victories