Riverside opens the 2018-2019 season without a returning starter and only two players with varsity experience.
While that situation presents many challenges, it also provides the Beavers with a clean slate. Last year’s 8-15 record overall and 4-10 mark in the Western Reserve Conference will have no bearing on what the 2018-2019 squad can accomplish.
“Being a young and inexperienced group, it will be a struggle to get to where we want to be,” Riverside coach Joel Wolf said. “However, this group is very energetic and is willing to try anything that’s put in front of them.”
Wolf is confident he has talented and athletic guards, which should help on both ends of the court.
“We should definitely be able to utilize this both offensively and defensively,” Wolf said. “This will be an eye-opener for most of the players. Hopefully, they jump all in and don’t let the inexperience be a downfall.”
Junior guard Mikey Mlakar averaged 0.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.8 steals per game last winter. She will be counted on to be one of the team’s leaders.
“Mikey understands the game and knows what we are looking for,” Wolf said. “She needs to stay healthy and be productive.”
Junior guard Megan Gidley, junior wing Nya Carlucci, senior post Kaylan Schultz and sophomore post Marissa Radmore are expected to round out the projected starting lineup.
“Megan is athletic, enthusiastic and a verbal leader,” Wolf said. “Nya is a shooting threat and does a nice job of boxing opponents out and getting rebounds. Kaylan will be a team leader. She puts in a lot of effort and tries to get the best from her teammates. Marissa is the epitome of a post player, large, not afraid of contact, and can shoot the ball pretty well.”
Junior Audrey Wooledge and freshman Amanda Kolar will provide depth at the wing.
“Amanda has shown moments of brilliance at open gyms and early practices. The older players know that she can play the game. Lots of potential with Amanda,” Wolf said. “Audrey is extremely athletic. She spent the fall playing soccer and wanted to play basketball again, so she is back for the first time since eighth grade. I’m looking forward to seeing her progress throughout the year.”
Senior guard Alyssa Linder, senior win Chaela Hobson and junior wing Avery Campbell also will see action this winter.
“The keys to us winning this year will be to play great defense, win the battle of the boards, and make more shots than the opponent,” Wolf said.