WESTON, Mass. – After over three weeks of official practice, the Regis College women's basketball team embarks upon the 2019-20 season aiming to remain a contender within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
Nine players return from last year's squad that overcame a slow start, winning four of its last five regular season games to finish with a 7-5 league record as part of an 11-15 overall mark. However, for the second straight year, the Pride were eliminated from the GNAC Tournament by Albertus Magnus, this time on the Falcons' home floor.
Senior Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.) led the Pride in scoring last season at 11.1 points per game, including 12.9 points per game in conference games. She was also one of the top three rebounders coming back to the team with 164 rebounds in 2018-19, joining sophomore Arie Searcy (Santa Rosa, Calif.) with 180 rebounds and senior Taylor Iorfino (Monore, Conn.) with 141 rebounds.
Iorfino is one of the captains of the 2019-20 squad along with junior point guard Nikki Bitinaitis (Cromwell, Conn.), who collected 101 assists (3.9 assists per game) and 39 steals (1.5 steals per game) to lead the Pride last year. Bitinaitis also led Regis in made free throws and free throw attempts last season, hitting 75.5 percent (80-of-106) of her shots from the charity stripe, including 77.9 percent (53-of-68) in conference play.
Regis will be looking for someone to pick up the outside shooting production, as three-quarters of the made three-pointers in 2018-19 came from players no longer on the team. The Pride did improve their ball possession in conference play last year, committing 17.7 turnovers per game in GNAC games compared to 21.3 turnovers per game in non-league contests.
After finishing in a tie for fifth place in the regular season standings last year, Regis ended up sixth in the GNAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll with 85 points. Emmanuel College, the defending GNAC Tournament champion, received 10 first place votes to finish atop the poll with 142 points, followed by Albertus Magnus with the other two first place votes and 129 points.
The Pride's 25-game regular season slate begins with five straight games away from home, starting this weekend with a road trip to Maine to face University of New England Friday night, Nov. 8, and Southern Maine Saturday night, Nov. 9. Regis will also play at UMass Dartmouth and at a weekend tournament hosted by future conference rival Dean College before hosting six of its next eight games.
Regis begins the conference schedule at Albertus Magnus Saturday, Jan. 11, the first of three straight GNAC road games. The first home league contest for the Pride comes against preseason favorite Emmanuel Saturday afternoon, Jan. 25.
Angela Santa Fe brings an overall record of 117-48 (.709) into her seventh season at the helm of the Pride program. She welcomes Victoria Lux, a four-year starter and 1,000-point scorer at Bentley University, to the coaching staff.