BY THE NUMBERS:
13 - School-record number of wins posted by W&L during the 1998-99 season.
4 - Number of returning starters from last season's squad.
6 - Number of years that the W&L women's basketball program has been in existence.
66 - Points needed by Ansley Miller to become W&L's second 1,000-point scorer.
THE HEAD COACH:
Terri Dadio Campbell (Lafayette '92) enters her seventh season at the helm of the General women's basketball team. She has guided the program since its inception at the beginning of the 1993-94 season. Dadio Campbell also serves as the head women's volleyball coach at W&L. She has guided the Generals to three straight ODAC Tournament championships and its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance this past fall.
W&L recovered from a 1-6 start to post a school-record 13 wins during the 1998-99 season. The Generals finished at 13-13 overall and 11-9 in the ODAC. In addition, W&L advanced to the semifinals of the ODAC Tournament for the first time in school history. The fifth-seeded Generals defeated No. 4 Virginia Wesleyan in the ODAC Quarterfinals by a score of 61-49 before losing to the No. 1-seeded Yellow Jackets of Randolph-Macon in the semifinal round.
Last season was a record-breaking campaign for W&L on the hardwood. As a team, the Generals set eight new team records. The new standards include field goals made (571), free throws made (430), free throws attempted (621), three-pointers made (63), three-pointers attempted (221), rebounds (1,054), victories (13), and longest win streak (5).
Guards Ansley Miller and Alison Kudlacik rank first and second on the W&L all-time three-point field goal shooting list. The two combined for 51 of the Generals' 63 three-pointers last season. Miller alone has connected on nearly half of the three-pointers in W&L history.
Although the Generals return four starters from last season's squad, the one departure could loom large as the season progresses. W&L will seek to find a way to compensate for the loss of Chrissy Burghardt, W&L's all-time leader in points (1,080), assists (203), and steals (146).
TRIAL BY FIRE:
This year, W&L sports one of its youngest teams in history. The General roster is composed of 11 underclassmen and just three upperclassmen. The squad features two seniors, one junior, seven sophomores, and four freshmen. Even so, 10-of-13 letterwinners and 4-of-5 starters return.
W&L will be led this season by last season's ODAC Freshman of the Year, Jessica Mentz. Mentz, who averaged 15.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season, will be looked upon to anchor a young General frontcourt. Last season, Mentz broke the W&L record for points in a game when she exploded for 30 against Lynchburg. She tallied 393 points on the season, also a record. In addition, Mentz broke the season records for points per game (15.1), field goals (145), field goal percentage (57.3%), free throws (103), and free throws attempted (143).
STEEL CITY CENTERS:
The Generals feature a pair of 6-1 sophomore centers out of Pittsburgh, Pa. Megan Babst and Leslie Fischbeck provide a formidable duo in the paint for W&L. Babst already ranks third in W&L history with 27 blocked shots. Fischbeck, who had her preseason practices delayed due to her participation on the W&L volleyball team, will see increased playing time as the season progresses.
Wellesley finished the 1998-99 season at 16-8 overall and 6-4 in the NEWMAC. The season was the school's best since the 1993-94 campaign when it posted a record of 18-6. Wellesley will be led this season by twins Amy and Meg Barao. A First-Team All-NEWMAC selection last year, Amy Barao set the Wellesley all-time record for three-pointers in a season (45). Also returning to lead Wellesley is senior co-captain Erin Lunde. A 6-0 center, Lunde was an Academic All-NEWMAC selection last year.
SCOUTING R-M WOMANÍS:
A familiar foe of Washington and Lee, Randolph-Macon Woman's College will also travel to Massachusetts to compete in the season-opening Wellesley Tournament. The Wildcats and Generals faced off twice last season, earning one victory apiece. RMWC is led by last season's ODAC Player of the Year, senior center Tara Carleton. During the 1998-99 campaign Carleton averaged 23.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game to lead the ODAC in both categories. Also returning for the Wildcats is senior guard Kai Felton. Felton ranked seventh in the ODAC last season in scoring at 14.0 points per contest. She provides an outside threat for the Wildcats, as she connected on 65-of-184 three-pointers last year.
Norwich begins its 1998-99 season after a 14-10 campaign last season. The Cadets will be led by senior forward Hope Allen, who was second on the team in scoring at 12.4 points per game. Also returning is senior guard Kate Hopkins, who led the team in assists (4.0 apg.). Head Coach Mark Swasey enters his first season as Norwalk's mentor. He is blessed with the return of eight-of-10 letterwinners from last season's squad.