By Brian Roe, Sports Writer
ACU will travel to California this weekend to open its season with a pair of non-conference games against Cal Poly-Pomona on Friday and Cal State-San Bernadino on Monday.
The Wild-cats are coming off a 16-13 season and are picked to finish third in the Lone Star Conference South Divi-sion this season. Head coach Shawna Lavender enters her first full season as head coach of the Wildcats. Last year, she took over for former coach Wayne Williams and led ACU to a 5-1 record to complete the season.
The Wildcats are led by seniors Lynsie Blau and Melanie Carter, who enters the season on pace to become only the third basketball player in ACU history to score 2,000 career points. She has over 1,500 points going into this season and needs only 491 points to join Claudia Schleyer and Jennifer Clarkson as the only two players-male or female-to reach the 2,000 point mark.
Friday night’s opponent, the Broncos of Cal Poly-Pomona, is led by sophomores Brandi Fletcher and Marisa Lattin. The Broncos have won five Division II national championships, including two in the last three years.
Lavender said her team worked on the simple things in practice preparing for the season opener.
“We wanted to make sure we get our defensive stuff down and work out half-court defense,” she said. “Nothing fancy we just want to make sure we have the fundamentals down this weekend.”
Blau said she is ready to get back on the court and that the team is more confident this year.
“We aren’t nervous about playing this type of team,” Blau said. “We just want to keep our intensity high and play our game. If we have confidence we know we can come back home 2-0.”
Lavender said playing in California this weekend will be a quick test to begin the season.
“They are a championship team,” she said. “This will be a good opportunity to see where we are early in the season. We know we are going against good teams and I think we are ready to step up to the challenge.”