FAIRBANKS-The women's basketball team continues to put in work for another season. The new thing for this team are all the new faces. 10 new young women are on the team including: six freshmen, a junior and two transfers. Some of the returners noticed they haven't had they typical issues with a roster overhaul.
"You know most of the time when you get new girls and old girls, you know, girls that understand things, there are going to be conflicts and heads are going to butt. But it kind of seems to be falling in together seamlessly which is really nice," senior forward Samantha Thornton said.
Along Thornton four others return. Senior foward Ruth O'Neal, sophomore Brianna Kirk and the dynamic backcourt of Benissa Bulaya and Kelly Logue. Logue was third in the GNAC in steals last year and Bulaya is the top returning scorer from a year ago and was ranked in the top ten in assists, steals and field goal percentage. The team and the staff need her to open up her game in the intangibles department.
"In the past I've been pretty quiet so I'm really trying to step it up as a junior," Bulaya said. "I'm getting to be a senior soon so I really want to step out of my comfort zone and be vocal out on the court."
One of the freshmen is North Pole standout Josie Broderick. The 1,000 point scorer for the Patriots is coming off of knee surgery but hopes to contribute soon. She feels all the newness can give the Nanooks an edge.
"I hope that we just prove people wrong because everyone has their thoughts of how UAF is going to do and how they think they've been because of the past. But it's a new team and even though we're all new it just gives us an advantage because no knows how any of us plays, especially together," Broderick said.
Head coach Cody Bench, in her fourth year, is expecting a child soon and can't be with the team as much. So second year assistant coach Amy Senefeld was heading practice today. Senefeld and Bench want to see execution in the team's first action this weekend.
"We want to win the scrimmage but more so we want to execute our stuff. We're kind of expecting to win but we want see our girls execute our stuff, what we've been practicing."
The Nanooks first game is an exhibition against the Alumni this Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Patty Center.