The Wilmington College women’s basketball team will tip off the 2017-18 season Friday in the Damon’s/Hampton Inn Tip-Off Tournament at WC’s Fred Raizk Arena.
The WC women will play 6 p.m. Friday against Mary Baldwin University. The second game in the tournament will pit Wittenberg University against Spalding University at 8 p.m.
The tournament’s consolation game will be held 1 p.m. Saturday with the championship game set for a 3 p.m. tipoff.
“Wittenberg is perennially a tough NCAA Division III team and we expect that again this year,” WC head coach Jerry Scheve said.
Mary Baldwin University is located in Staunton, Va. They were 2-23 last season.
Ross James was hired as the head coach in October, just a couple of weeks prior to the start of practice. He served as an assistant coach at Lafayette University for three seasons.
“We know very little about Mary Baldwin,” Scheve said. “They have a new coach, so nothing to go on with them.”
MBU is a member of the USA South Athletic Conference. The conference is comprised of thirteen full member institutions located in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. Members include Averett University, Covenant College, Ferrum College, Greensboro College, Maryville (Tenn.) College, Meredith College, Methodist University, Huntingdon College, LaGrange College, North Carolina Wesleyan College, Piedmont College, and William Peace University.
Wittenberg (10-16 last season) also has a relatively new coach. Kelly Mahlum took over the team in November last season as an interim coach and was hired full-time in May to lead the Tigers program.
Located in Springfield, Wittenberg is a member of the North Coast Athletic Conference, which includes Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College and the College of Wooster.
Palding, located in Louisville, Ky., finished the 2016-17 season with a 13-11 record. The Golden Eagles are members of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference along with Blackburn College, Eureka College, Fontbonne University, Greenville University, Iowa Wesleyan University, MacMurray College, Principia College, Webster University and Westminster College.
Wilmington finished 18-10 a season ago and were runnersup to Ohio Northern in the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament. WC returns eight players and one starter from last year’s team. That starter is preseason All-America selection Mackenzie Campbell.
“With our returners, I’m looking for each of them to build on what they’ve accomplished in the past,” Scheve said. “I’m pretty sure they are ready to play.
“We are going to be playing a lot of newcomers this weekend. I’m looking for them to slowly build on what they’ve learned the last month. It’s a slow process, but the positive part is I think there is a lot of talent in the freshman class. They’ll need to grow up in a hurry learning how to play college basketball.”
Wilmington High School graduate Savannah Hooper is in her senior season as a member the Quakers women’s basketball team.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports