The Tabor College women?s basketball team posted a 10-20 overall record last year and graduated both its top scorer and one of its most consistent post players this off-season.
But in addition to two familiar sophomore forwards, the Bluejays will have two senior guards with considerable experience in head coach Shawn Winter?s program: Stephanie Silvas and Andrea Robinson.
Silvas and Robinson have both been consistent scorers in the range of 5 to 7 points per game so far, and both are aggressive perimeter defenders. Both are capable shooters and willing passers.
The most decorated of the returners is Gina Hullet, who was named to the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference?s all-freshman team last year.
Hullet averaged 9.4 points per game for the season, but elevated that total to almost 11 after the holiday break. For the season, Hullet averaged six rebounds per game and recorded 10 or more three times?twice in the final six games. But coming off an extended volleyball season, Hullet has not yet played during the early non-conference part of the schedule.
The other returner who made a significant impact last year?and will be looked on to build on the experience she gained as a freshman?is Sarah Wyckoff.
Wyckoff played in 28 games last year?fifth-most on the team?and averaged 4.5 points per game.
Through five games, Wyckoff and fellow returning sophomores Nicole Gentry and MacKenzie Dick had played in every one of Tabor?s games.
Two newcomers have made an early impact: freshman forward Tynan Honn averaged a team-high 13.6 points per game while freshman guard Vivian Olvera has the second-highest total at 9.2 points per game.
Olvera has shown both the skill and the guile required to shoot well from 3-point range, while Honn has scored on more than half her shot attempts?most from close range, and a few following from her team-high rebound totals.
In March, Olvera scored 28 points including eight foul shots late in Southwestern Heights? six-point win over Wichita Collegiate in the Class 3A state championship. In Tabor?s season opener, Olvera scored 20 points as the Bluejays pushed Missouri Valley, an NAIA Division I team, to overtime.
Mallory Flaming, Lindsey Radic, Molly Dick and DeAndrea Pierce will also compete for playing time as freshmen.
Lichelle Large and Roxanne Rodriguez have joined the team as sophomores, and Tiffany Bulk is the team?s lone transfer after one season at Bethany.
The Bluejays finished seventh in the conference with an 7-11 record last year, so the preseason polls?in which the Bluejays were picked seventh by both coaches and media?come as no surprise.