October 4, 2011
Women's Basketball Holds First Practice of 2011-12
Video: Head Coach Lynne Roberts
Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific women's basketball team hit the hardwood for the first official practice of the 2011-12 season Tuesday afternoon at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
"It felt good to get out here and finally be able to work," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "There's a lot to do at this stage. I think coaches across the country walk out of the first practice feeling optimistic, but realizing how much there is to teach at this stage. We have a lot of new faces, and have to be patient with the process and where we're headed."
Pacific returns six players from last year's squad including three starters, and welcomes seven newcomers to the team.
Junior forward Kendall Rodriguez, junior guard Erica McKenzie, and sophomore guard Gena Johnson form the Tigers nucleus as returning starters, while 2010 Big West Sixth Woman of the Year Christina Thompson is back for her senior campaign. Also returning are sophomore Sam Pettinger and junior Ashley Wakefield return from last season's roster.
Wakefield, who sat out last season, but practiced in the spring semester, is one of eight players who could take to the court for the first time in a Tiger uniform this season. The Tigers added junior guards Kelli Lewis, Ashley Smith, and junior swing woman Brianna Johnson via transfer, and guards Kristina Johnson, Claire Conricode, Hailie Eackles as well as post Kendall Kenyon as true freshmen.
"I like the effort and the enthusiasm out there today," Roberts added. "We're certainly way more athletic than we've ever been, which is exciting. I'm looking forward to getting back out here tomorrow and the chance to work with them again."
The Tigers had been participating in team conditioning and individual workouts since the beginning of the semester, and will continue to prep towards the start of the season. Pacific opens the 2011-12 campaign with an exhibition at home against Academy of Art on Nov. 5. The Tigers open the regular season on the road with a Nov. 13 game at Fairfield and a Nov. 15 contest against Connecticut.