FGCU Welcomes No. 19 Florida State to Alico Arena to Open Season
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Head Coach Karl Smesko and the Eagles host No. 19 Florida State on Friday night.
Head Coach Karl Smesko and the Eagles host No. 19 Florida State on Friday night.

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU women’s basketball team will officially open its 2007-08 campaign this Friday night when it entertains No. 19 Florida State. Tip-off in Alico Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.

Tip-Off Season-Opener: The Eagles will officially launch their 2007-08 campaign on Fri., Nov. 9 against No. 19 Florida State in Alico Arena.

Know Your Opponent: Florida State

- Currently ranked No. 19 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls.

- Made it to the Sweet 16 in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

- Florida State has won its last 13 season openers, including all 10 under head coach Sue Semrau - by a margin of 15.7 points per game.

- This will be the Seminoles' first season opener away from Tallahassee since the 2001-02 season when they beat St. Mary's, 78-57, at the Paradise Jam.

- FSU has not played a true road game to start the year since 1998-99 when it beat Tulsa 76-67.

- The Seminoles wrapped up the exhibition season with an 83-71 victory over Michael T. White.

FSU Tries To Remain Perfect vs. A-SUN Under Coach Semrau

Through the first 10 years of the Sue Semrau era, the Seminoles are undefeated against the Atlantic Sun Conference. During her tenure, Florida State is 6-0 following last year’s win over Stetson. Overall, the Seminoles are 20-10 against the conference, but haven’t lost a game to the league since a 69-75 loss to Stetson on December 12, 1987. FSU plays fellow A-Sun team North Florida on Sunday.

Eagles Return Six Contributors The 2007-08 Eagles will have six contributors back from last year’s squad that went 34-1 and was the Division II National Runner-Up. Seniors Delia De La Torre, Ashley Haegele, Chelsea Dermyer, Amanda Pierce and sophomore Adrianne McNally each averaged more than 15 minutes per game. Those five also combined for 30.4 points and 17.3 rebounds per game.

New Faces

The 2007-08 campaign will see the Eagles have eight new players on the active roster.

Eagle fans will notice some changes on the playing roster as well. Kate Schrader, Alex Nelson, and Jen Conely graduated, and Steffi Sorenson transferred to Santa Fe Community College. Those four combined to average 46.5 points, 17 rebounds, 6.9 assists and also half of the team’s steals last season. Schrader, the Eagles leading scorer each of the last two seasons, as well as the all-time leading scorer, will certainly be missed. Sorensen would have been the leading returning scorer and rebounder, but she chose to transfer to Santa Fe CC so that she could be closer to her family in Jacksonville.

Jackie Thiel, Patrice McKenzie, and Lindsey Newpher are three new transfers, who all come in as juniors. Thiel, a 5-3 guard comes to the Eagles from Odessa College, where she helped them win the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship, averaging 5.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.7 steals. McKenzie, a 6-0 forward comes to FGCU from Dodge City Community College. The New Zealand native averaged 14.8 points and 10 rebounds last season, earning her Honorable Mention All-Conference in the Jayhawk league. Newpher, a 5-9 forward joins the Eagles after spending two seasons at Kansas City Kansas Community College. She averaged 11.2 points in her final 11 games last year after suffering an injury early in the season.

Incoming freshman this year include 5-11 Kristine Herman, who earned First Team All-League as a junior and senior at Granada High School in San Ramon, Ca.; Diana Jacklin, a 6-0 forward who earned All-Conference honors at Morton West High School in Berwyn, Ill.; Bri Zabel, the all-time leading scorer at Northfield High School in Northfield, Minn, who earned All-Conference as a sophomore, junior and senior, as well as All-State honorable mention as a junior and senior; Shannon Murphy, a 5-7 guard who was named All-State at Brighton High School in Brighton, Mich.; and Madeleine Doyle, a 6-1 forward who was Second Team All-State at Gobles High School in Gobles, Mich. after averaging 17.9 points and 14.9 rebounds her senior season.

Eagles Picked 10th in the Coaches Preseason Poll

According to the A-Sun Coaches Preseason Poll, the Eagles will enter the 2007-08 campaign picked to finish 10th in the conference. The Eagles received 45 points in the preseason poll to finish 10th in the A-Sun.

Eagles Picked 6th in the Media Preseason Poll

According to the A-Sun Media Preseason Poll, the Eagles will enter the 2007-08 campaign picked to finish 6th in the conference. The Eagles received 196 points and one first-place vote in the preseason poll to finish 10th in the A-Sun.

Diving in Head First

The Eagles, fresh off a 34-1 season and a Division II Nat’l Runner-Up, will waste no time playing the toughest competition in Division 1 by hosting No. 19 Florida State in their home opener on Nov. 9.