Women’s Basketball Confident at Start of New Season

Photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics

The Ramapo College women’s basketball team will begin its 2016-17 season on Nov. 15 against Yeshiva University. The home opener marks the ninth season with head coach Mike Eineker at the helm, and with the new season comes fresh expectations.

“Our goal is to constantly improve throughout the season and continue to grow closer as a team throughout the year,” said the coach.

This year, the team is led by captains Kellie Lane, a senior, and junior Bridgette Buckalew, as well as fellow seniors Shelby Ringer and Bintou Berete. With Lane and Buckalew, the Roadrunners return the top point scorer and steals leader from a year ago. Each looks to lead their respective units on the court.

Incoming freshmen Jessica Repasy, Jenna Harsh and Samantha Rinaldi will all be asked to contribute minutes as the Roadrunners look to return to the post season tournament. They will look to improve on a 5-20 season from a year ago, including a 3-15 conference record. Lane should continue to average more than 25 minutes per game and her team leading 11.3 points per game will only help the team after being outscored by over 200 points over the course of the season.

Ringer, who averaged 5.1 points per game, may also see her volume increase as two of the top three scorers from last year have graduated. Ringer also poses Ramapo’s greatest threat from beyond the arc. Her 29 made three-pointers are the most of any returning player, and her 33.7 field goal percentage from deep shows defenses must defend the perimeter.

Following the home opener against Yeshiva University, Ramapo will play host to the Roadrunner Tip Off Tournament against non-conference opponents John Jay College, St. Josephs College and College of St. Elizabeth. The Roadrunners then open their conference schedule against William Paterson and Montclair State.

Eineker stressed the importance of conference games and the challenge they pose:

“The NJAC is returning three NCAA tourney teams which is pretty common on the women’s side,” said the head coach in Eineker. “We certainly have our work cut out for us.”

While the team must contend with the loss of valuable players, the coach and returning talent appear to show a program on the ascendency.  The team will look to improve not only its overall record, but also their showing against conference opponents as the season progresses.

The beginning conference stretch is followed by the Hat City Classic at Western Connecticut State, but the goal remains the same for Eineker’s team: to continue to improve and grow and hopefully earn a postseason berth by season’s end.