The Puget Sound women's basketball team was picked to finish third in the Northwest Conference in a poll of the conference coaches last week. The youthful Loggers are looking to not just live up to those expectations, but exceed them.
The Loggers finished fourth in the NWC last year with a 13-13 overall record and a 9-7 record in conference games but have set their sights much higher this year.
The Loggers will look to 1,000 point scorer Kelsey McKinnis to lead the squad as one of just three seniors this year. McKinnis is the Loggers only returning All-NWC selection from a year ago. She was honored for the second consecutive year on the Second Team.
McKinnis led the Loggers in scoring last year with 14.2 points per game. She also led the team in playing time with over 30 minutes per game and in assists with 2.7 per game. She will look to put the finishing touches on an already tremendous career in the maroon and white.
Sarah Stewart and Lindsay Layland also return to the low post to round out the Loggers senior class. The two seniors proved to be the Loggers driving force down low as they combined for 13 rebounds per game. Stewart averaged 7.1 boards per game to lead the team. Layland pulled down six per game and a team-high 2.7 of those came on the offensive end. The two also combined for 13.7 points per game.
Sophomore Amanda Forshay also returns for the Loggers after a solid freshman campaign that included 9.6 points and six rebounds per game. Forshay started her freshman season on the bench but worked her way into the starting lineup by December and remained in the starting five the rest of the year.
Ashley Agcaoili is another young Logger to return with plenty of experience. She started every game in the 2011-12 season at point guard and will figure to take on the same role this season. Erin Stumbaugh and Olivia Roberts will also look to increase their roles in the backcourt as sophomores after earning spots in the regular rotation as freshmen.
Junior Taylor Jones will bring a wealth of experience off the bench for the Loggers and may even compete for a spot in the starting five this year. Jones has been a key contributor off the bench for the last two years and has proven to step up to hit some big shots during the course of a season.
Four new freshmen also join the team this year and could figure into the mix as early as the tip-off against UC Santa Cruz.
The Loggers will open the 2012-13 season against the Banana Slugs on Friday at 4 p.m. in Memorial Fieldhouse.