Coach Flamini looks to guide young core

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Andrew Walker

Women’s basketball sophomore Julie Carini shoots during practice on Nov. 1, 2018. Carini is one of the two returning starters for the Quakers. // Photo By: Andrew Walker/The Guilfordian

This season, the Guilford College women’s basketball team only has one senior and most of the team is first-years or sophomores. The team brings back two starters and eight student-athletes overall.

“We’re really young this year,” said junior forward Miracle Walters. “I think we have a lot of talent coming in and we have good mindsets on the team.”

The returners will have a chance this year for more playing time with only two of the starters from last year returning.

The main student-athlete the team has to try to replace is three-time All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference selection Lauren Ramsey ’18. Ramsey led the team last year in most statistics, and also provided veteran leadership to a young team.

“We’re going to have younger people step up, obviously Miracle’s going to have to step up, and (junior Alli Jackson) is going to have to step up,” said head coach Stephanie Flamini. “Our point guards are going to have to step up, one’s a (first-year) one’s a sophomore. We’re going to have to look for leadership in people that are younger and haven’t really had as much experience.”

Walters was second on the team in scoring and will likely be the Quakers top scoring option this year. Walters was key to last year’s team and this year she will be the lone returner that averaged at least 10 points a game last year. Walters was named to the All-ODAC Second Team last year.

The second starter that is returning is sophomore center Julie Carini. Carini started in all but one game as a first-year and contributed 7.3 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game.

“I’m a little more calmed down, I know what to expect, I’ve had some experience on floor and experience with other teams and playing in the ODAC,” Carini said.  “I’m very excited to get out and play with all these new girls and play again with Miracle.”

Walters and Carini led the ODAC in shooting percentage last year, both shooting over 50 percent from the field.

The Quakers will look to have either a first-year or sophomore take over the point guard position as they have no returning starter in that position. Sophomore guard Brianna Allen came off the bench in 23 of the contests last season and averaged 2.5 points in her 13.5 minutes per game. Sophomore guard Kendyl Medlin, sophomore guard Sarah Radebaugh, sophomore guard Kasey Medlin and Jackson also return and will play bigger roles this season. Jackson, along with Walters and senior forward Kaeli Frank, are the only upperclassmen on the roster.

The new players on the team have not had much time to acclimate to college basketball as they are going to need to play important roles from the beginning of the season.

“The practices have been intense, but I feel like I’ve really dove in and done well and worked hard,” said sophomore guard Calyn Davis.

This season the team was picked fourth in the ODAC Preseason Poll after the loss to Washington and Lee University in the ODAC tournament quarterfinal last year. The team finished with a 17-7 overall record and 11-5 in the ODAC.

“It’s hard to tell but hopefully we’ll end up being able to live up to that expectation,” Walters said.

The defending ODAC champions, Randolph-Macon College, garnered seven first-place votes and 139 points to land atop the league preseason poll. The Quakers topped the Yellow Jackets in their only meeting last season, 98-82.

The Quakers begin the season with an unusual start as the first game of the season is an ODAC game against Roanoke College before playing three non-conference games. The game against Roanoke is at home on Nov. 13.

“We have a lot of potential and we’ll see how the season goes,” said Flamini “We’re just going to take it one game at a time.”