Entering the fourth year at the helm of the Saint Mary's basketball program, head coach Melissa Makielski continues to raise the expectations for her team as the Belles prepare to open the season.
Giavanna Paradiso '21, Jade Mosier '20, and Bella Dugas '22 were the Belles' top three contributors in points per game and rebounds per game last season. Paradiso started in each of the team's 27 contests last year and was the team leader in both scoring (16.4 ppg) and rebounds (6.9 rpg) as Saint Mary's posted their first double-digit win total since the 2011-12 season. The junior was a Second Team All-MIAA selection in the 2018-19 season and was named MIAA Player of the Week in Week #6. Mosier and Dugas were second and third in both statistical categories, respectively. Mosier was tabbed as the MIAA Player of the Week in Week #11 and finished the season eighth in scoring in MIAA competition. Dugas was among the top 25 players in conference play in scoring and rebounding in her first season with the Belles.
Six returners rejoin Paradiso, Mosier, and Dugas in 2019-20. Megan Saunders '21 competed in each of the team's 27 games a year ago and was fourth on the team in assists. Sophie Koeppl '21, Carin Kaminski '21, and Kelsie Bies '22 each averaged more than 14 minutes of play per game in the 2018-19 season. Olivia Lathers '20 and Delaney Rohlman '20 were contributors to a Saint Mary's squad which won their first road MIAA Tournament contest in program history.
Six newcomers - Hannah Cavanaugh, Halle Siebenaler, Devan Buda, Nikki Murphy, Maddie Rzepka, and Christina Shadid - round out the 15-player squad. Among the accolades that group of fist-year student-athletes bring are: a state championship, a state runner-up finish, an all-state honorable mention accolade, three two-sport athletes in high school, and several all-conference recognitions.
Saint Mary's tips off the season on Saturday, November 9 when they travel to Earlham for a 2:00 p.m. contest. The Belles have their home opener on Tuesday, November 12 as North Central travels to Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex for a 6:00 p.m. game. Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play begins at home on Wednesday, December 4 against Alma.