Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
The Hokies have finished under .500 for the past three seasons and the league isn't getting easier.
Associated Press | File February
Virginia Tech coach Dennis Wolff knows the ACC won’t get any easier for women’s basketball with Notre Dame coming in next year.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Virginia Tech’s Monet Tellier played on the wing but also shared in the ballhandling chores this season. The Hokies hope to have more of a true point guard next season to run the offense.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The Virginia Tech women’s basketball team has suffered three straight losing seasons, but coach Dennis Wolff hopes next year will yield better results.
“I think we can get to .500 or better next year,” Wolff said.
Key players from this year’s 10-20 team will be back, and at least four freshmen will be coming aboard.
But the Hokies wound up in the ACC cellar with a 4-14 league mark. Next season, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh will move over from the Big East. Notre Dame and Syracuse made the NCAA tournament this year, with Notre Dame advancing to the final four.
So it won’t be any easier to get ACC wins next season.
“I get that. No doubt,” said Wolff, who has steered the Hokies for two seasons. “We’ve had conversations here internally, we’ve had conversations within the athletic department, about that.”
Wolff added two players to his roster Thursday.
Tech received letters of intent from point guard Vanessa Panousis, a Sydney native who played for the Australian national team in last year’s under-17 world championships, and point guard/off-guard Serafina Maulupe, who averaged 21 points this year for Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Calif.
“They’re both pretty good shooters,” Wolff said. “That’s one of the reasons we wanted to sign them.”
The Hokies ranked 338th out of 343 Division I teams in scoring (49.3 ppg) and 295th in field-goal percentage (35.5 percent).
“We have to shoot better,” Wolff said. “It’s a combination of getting into the gym and recruiting.”
The two new signees and rising sophomore Lauren Evans will contend for the starting point guard job.
Tech lacked a true floor general this year. The point guards were seniors Alyssa Fenyn (7 ppg), who was more comfortable on the wing, and Aerial Wilson. Evans and Monet Tellier played on the wing but also shared in the ballhandling chores.
“If we have improved skill level [on the team] and … more of a point guard presence, then we’ll be able to get up and down the floor more and maybe play consistently better basketball,” Wolff said.
The freshman class will also include fall signees Samantha Hill, an off-guard from Toronto, and Breanna Brown, a forward/center from Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, Calif. Wolff might sign a few more recruits in the coming weeks.
So far, none of next season’s scholarship players is from Virginia. That was also the case this year.
“We’ve had a number of them visit, … but we haven’t been able to get them,” Wolff said of recruiting the state’s prospects.
Tellier (13.2 ppg) will be back at off-guard, with Uju Ugoka (12.5 ppg) and Taijah Campbell (4.7 ppg) likely starting inside. Evans (4.7 ppg) might start on the wing again if she doesn’t get the point guard job.
Wolff is looking forward to having the services of Ugoka, Campbell and Hannah Young for a full season.
Ugoka, an ACC all-academic pick, played only 17 games this year. The junior college transfer was ineligible for the first nine games and was injured for four other games.
Campbell was sidelined by an injured foot for 13 games.
Young, a backup who averaged 1.3 points and 18.4 minutes, did not join the team until mid-December.
Porschia Hadley and Nia Evans also will be back. Alexis Lloyd’s status for next season is uncertain for undisclosed reasons.
Alex Kiss-Rusk intends to transfer, and Larryqua Hall has been dismissed from the team.
The nonconference schedule will include home games with Florida, Michigan State and Richmond and visits to Radford, Old Dominion and Hampton.
Weather JournalNew batch of moisture for PM