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Women’s Basketball Team Set to Go Under New Coach

The Lady Wildcats gather for a team photo with the Pennsylvania College of Technology mascot.The Pennsylvania College of Technology women’s basketball team is under a new coach this season and she is very optimistic about keeping the winning tradition going.

“We set our goals high. I think we are perfectly capable of a PSUAC (Penn State University Athletic Conference) championship. The girls work hard and we’ve got the talent. That’s what I hope to accomplish and that’s what the girls hope to accomplish,” Alison Tagliaferri said.

Tagliaferri succeeds Ron Kodish as head coach. Kodish guided the Lady Wildcats into the playoffs each of the last three seasons they won it all in 2005-06 and Tagliaferri said she is eager to get started. Penn College opens its season at home (Bardo Gym) at 6 p.m. Tuesday hosting Lehigh Carbon.

“With five starters coming back, and some excellent additions to the team, I think that the only thing that can stop us is ourselves,” continued Tagliaferri, who played high school basketball at Jersey Shore before a stellar career at Mansfield University. Last winter, she competed professionally in Portugal.

Returning from last year’s 10-15 squad are juniors Amanda Ault, a 6-foot post player from Milan; Erin Mahoney, a 5-8 guard from Linesville; and Amanda Turner, a 5-10 forward from Brackney; and sophomores Beth Snoddy, a 5-8 guard from Allenwood, and Meagan Morris, a 5-7 guard from Herndon, Va.

First-year players include sophomore Jessica Strasser (5-10 forward/Hawley) and freshmen Erica Logan (5-10 guard/Montoursville), Lindsay Weigand (5-4 guard/Watsontown) and Danielle Trout (5-6 guard/Linglestown).

Much of the preseason has been spent on conditioning, which Tagliaferri hopes pays off as the season progresses.

“They have definitely improved their conditioning a whole, whole lot. We’re looking better every day at practice. You can never be too in shape, that’s my belief,” the coach said.

“We don’t have a lot of numbers, so everybody is going to play a lot and they’ll definitely have to be in shape,” she continued.

As a former post player herself, Tagliaferri is building her offense from the inside-out, with Ault, who averaged 14 points per game last season, expected to get a lot of work.

“I’m a big transition person. I like the running game and that’s one of the reasons I concentrate so much on conditioning. The more you outhustle a team and push the ball, the easier it is to get easy layups,” the coach said.

The Wildcats will use varied defenses, with some full-court and trapping presses.

“We have a lot of height and we’re going to cause a lot of problems for our opponents because our guards are pretty tall,” Tagliaferri said.

Over the past few seasons, Penn College strengthened its schedule with the addition of NCAA Division III opponents. That continues this year, and Tagliaferri said she welcomes the challenge.

“I feel we can compete with anyone, regardless of division. It’s only going to make us better in the long run. I think it’s a great idea that they are on the schedule,” the coach added.

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site.)

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