College basketball: Lady Pios open season today vs. Fredonia State

The Marietta College women’s basketball team kicks off its season this afternoon against Fredonia State University in the Allegheny Tip-Off Tournament in Meadville, Pa.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

“This weekend will help set the tone for us for the remainder of the season,” said MC head coach Stacia Shrider. “There’s gonna be a little bit of adversity traveling four hours away.”

The Lady Pioneers are looking to start the season off on a winning note. After back-to-back 10-16 campaigns, Shrider believes this could be the year the team gets over the hump.

“The girls have been working extremely hard in the preseason,” Shrider said.

“We definitely have higher expectations for ourselves this year going into the season.”

The reason for the optimism is that Marietta returns four starters and lost just one player, point guard Krissy Rowe, to graduation.

The team’s top three scorers from last year in Candice Alexander, Heather Booth, and Tori Dixon are back as is starting guard Paige Lamb. The only question mark in the starting lineup is at the point guard position, where Shrider will likely start freshman Morgan Liedtke, a Fort Frye graduate. Overall, the team is experienced and returns a lot of talent, which should come in handy against the Blue Devils.

“We play a pretty talented team in Fredonia State, which returns its top two scorers from a year ago,” Shrider said.

The Lady Devils will be led by guard Becky Hebert, who averaged 18 points per game last year, and forward Jamie Warren, who scored 13.2 points per contest. Outside of that, Fredonia State will be fairly inexperienced, but Shrider expects it to be a battle.

“It will definitely be a challenge for us,” she said, “but if we continue to prepare and execute what we need to do offensively and defensively, it should be a good weekend for us.”

Marietta will be right back in action on Saturday, when it takes on D’Youville College at 4 p.m. The Lady Pios are hopeful for a 2-0 start when they return home Nov. 19.

“We’re looking to be more competitive in the conference, make some noise and climb the ladder in the OAC,” Shrider said.