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The 2014-15 edition of the Hollins basketball team will enter the season with expectations and excitement. After once again bowing out of the ODAC Tournament in the first round, Hollins returns a young and talented roster looking to crack the ODAC’s top eight for the first time in recent history. The team will feature one of the best backcourts in the league but will need to find some interior help in their first-year class.
Hollins will have a new look in the frontcourt as four-year starter Chanci Wright graduated after a stellar senior campaign. Wright was the only player in the ODAC to average a double-double, 10.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. In addition to Wright, Hollins will have to replace their other pair of six-footers, Brandi Chesne and Ella Oakley, as well as one of their best outside threats in Carrie Cox.
Hollins will have the luxury of returning one of the top backcourts in the conference. The sophomore duo of Taylor Catron and Jewell Parfitt are back after averaging almost 30 minutes per game during their first-year season. Parfitt led the team in scoring (11.9 ppg.) and long range shooting (52 three-pointers made). Catron was asked to move to the point guard spot one season ago and returns having handled the primary ball handling duties. She was third on the team with 9.7 ppg., while leading Hollins with 65 assists. The sophomore from Tazewell returns as the team’s leading rebounder with 4.6 rpg. Senior forward Britney Campbell enters her final season at the small forward position after averaging career highs in points (6.7 ppg.) and rebounds (4.1 rpg.).
A deep group of experienced guards is also returning. Senior Racheal Crowder has the experience and versatility to play both backcourt spots as does junior Auburn Smith. Smith and Crowder’s efficient ball handling will allow Catron to move off the ball and provide the team more explosiveness on offense. Sophomore Cailey Wright, who missed a majority of her first-year season recovering from injury, will add speed, ball handling, and on the ball defensive pressure to a deep corps of guards.
A pair of sophomores will have the opportunity to step up and handle a majority of the minutes at the power forward spot. Amber Markovitz and Kaitlyn Taylor played in a combined 38 games last season and will be looked upon to help offset Hollins’ loss on the glass and provide some offense on the inside.
Hollins added seven newcomers to the roster. Junior Jordan Persinger arrives after playing her third season on the Hollins volleyball team. Persinger and her 6’0” frame will help to add size and rebounding for a Hollins team that will have to rely heavily on their incoming group to play major minutes on the interior. A pair of six-foot first-years, Haley Ridgely and Hannah Moss, will help replace the size lost in the off season. Forwards Alexis Banaszak and T’iana Hatchett have the ability to play inside and out and provide the ability to drive to knock down outside jumpers as well as attack the basket. Shay Seals and Sydney Williams give Hollins the ability to have a bigger lineup with their size and versatility.
Hollins enters the season with high hopes and a tremendous amount of talent in the backcourt. The success of the season will lie heavily on Hollins’ ability to reload on the inside and the further development of their guards. Hollins opens the season with three games on the road before hosting Averett on Saturday, November 22nd. Their first taste of ODAC play will come on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving as reigning ODAC champs Randolph-Macon come to Roanoke for a pre-holiday battle.
The Hollins basketball team came into the 2013-14 season having lost, arguably, the best player in school history and with a young, fairly inexperienced roster. Hollins took the court in November with a first-year backcourt that would have to step in and deliver an immediate impact if the team was to continue to move up the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) standings.
Hollins hit the ground running with a matchup against Widener College, a participant in the 2013 NCAA DIII National Tournament. The team fought hard and had a chance against the veteran Widener squad, but in the end came up just short. The next night, Hollins rebounded to defeat a favored Hood College team by double digits and set the tone for the season. After a victory over non-conference foe Mary Baldwin College, Hollins had a winning record heading into conference play. The young players learned right away that winning in the ODAC was much different than anything they had yet experienced. After dropping their first two league games, Hollins headed into the winter break with a 2-8 record and would have to regroup before the arrival of a tough January schedule.
The first test in the New Year was a date with cross town and ODAC rival Roanoke College. Hollins was unable to best the Maroons, but the team played with a poise and confidence that would allow them to embark on a three-game winning streak. In their best stretch of the season, Hollins defeated Cedar Crest, Southern Virginia, and Washington and Lee to improve their record to 5-7 at the midway point. Throughout the second part of the season, Hollins went through many highs and lows but continued to improve each and every time out. A late January afternoon saw Virginia Wesleyan College, ranked in the top three in the ODAC at the time, come to town. A late three-pointer forced overtime. Hollins fell, but after that game the entire ODAC took notice. At season’s end Hollins had gained the respect they sought. Hollins had a rematch with the Marlins in the ODAC Tournament and at the half had a great chance to pull the upset. However, Virginia Wesleyan was able to fend off a game Hollins squad, thus ending the season for a team that is set up for a successful 2014-15 campaign.
Chanci Wright '14, Eden, TX: Wright was the only player in the ODAC to average a double-double for the season, earning her a berth on the All-ODAC Third Team. In an early season matchup against Hood College, she tied a single-game school record when she pulled down 22 rebounds. She was second on the team with 10.2 points per game while leading the team with 10.9 rebounds per contest.
Jewell Parfitt '17, Roanoke, VA: Parfitt stayed close to home after graduating form Patrick Henry High School and led Hollins in scoring with 11.9 points per game. She ended the year as the leading first-year scorer in the ODAC. She led the team in scoring 11 times, including 10 of the final 17 games of the season.
Taylor Catron '17, Tazewell, VA: Catron started the season on the wing and subsequently handled point guard duties for Hollins. She was third on the team with 9.7 points per game; her 4.6 rebounds per night ranked her second on the squad, and her 65 assists led the team.