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The Wood Word

The news site of Marywood University

The Wood Word

The news site of Marywood University

The Wood Word

2023 Women’s Basketball Preview

Photo credit/ Jason Ardan

The first half of the 2022-2023 Marywood women’s basketball season was promising. The Pacers went 10-2 in non-conference play, only losing to the University of Scranton and Delaware Valley University. The second half, however, was marred by injuries, resulting in a disappointing finish. The Pacers fell to a 2-10 record in conference play before being eliminated from the Atlantic East Conference playoffs, losing 80-58 to Cabrini University.

This season holds promise. If the Pacers can avoid the injury bug, they should challenge the likes of Cabrini and Marymount University in the Atlantic East Conference. There are many new faces in the Pacer lineup, with two transfer players and four first-year players.

The Pacers did lose some key pieces. Top scorer Olivia Ciullo will not be returning, and second-highest scorer Savannah Purdy graduated. Starting point guard Jade Rolon also graduated. Ciullo and Purdy accounted for nearly half of Marywood’s points last season, scoring 739 of the Pacers’ 1,537 while being named to the Second Team All-Atlantic East Conference. Rolon had a strong season, leading the team in assists and steals last year.

Several stars leaving the team opens opportunities for other players to step into the spotlight. Senior guard Faith Kendricks will look to make her mark in her last season for Marywood. Kendricks appeared in all 25 of the Pacers games last season, and she should continue to have an active role as the Pacers’ most experienced player. Junior guard Rachel McDonald also aims to make a splash in her third year with the team. McDonald was fourth in points per game last season, averaging 6.8. McDonald was also Marywood’s most prolific three-point shooter, going 37 for 117 behind the arc. She will remain a deep threat for the Pacers, and with room for more play time, will attempt to breathe life into a Marywood team that was lackluster in three-point shooting compared to their opponents.

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Another key piece for the upcoming season is junior Stephanie Klemick. In her second year with the Pacers, the 5-foot-10 forward operated as Marywood’s primary option in the paint. Klemick was a defensive stalwart, ending the season as the Pacers’ leading blocker with 20, as well as being tied for third in steals with 27. The Pacers were an above-average team defensively in the conference.

With several players graduating, Marywood will need their new blood to slot into the team now. Freshman Allyson Griscavage is projected to immediately be an impact player. Griscavage was a star in high school, breaking the 1,000-point threshold while grabbing 1,092 rebounds, which set a record for Southern Columbia High School. Standing at 6-foot-1, Griscavage will be the team’s tallest player, giving the Pacers a potentially dominant player inside the paint. Incoming transfer Lily Sherman will also look to be instrumental. The junior achieved Second Team All-Conference in NJCAA’s Region 19 while attending Montgomery County Community College.

Every game in the 2023-2024 season deserves watching, but a couple stand out. Marywood hosts hometown rivals University of Scranton on November 13 at 6 p.m., an early matchup against one of the top Division III programs in the nation. The Pacers will look to upset the Royals and avenge their loss last season. Another date to watch for is January 6, when the Pacers host Marymount for their first game of conference play. Last season, the Saints had Marywood’s number, besting them by double digits in both their matchups.

The 2023-2024 Marywood women’s basketball season gets underway when the Pacers visit Clarks Summit tomorrow, followed by their home opener against Wilkes University on November 10 in Insalaco Arena.

All stats are from as of November 5, 2023.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Jack Biggs
Jack Biggs, Assistant Sport Editor
Jack Biggs is a sophomore Multimedia Communications major with a focus in Sports Media and is an Assistant Sports Editor for the Wood Word. Biggs also DJs for 91.7 VMFM and is a member of Marywood's tennis and esports teams. Outside of school, Biggs spends hours watching his favorite sports teams lose in classic Pittsburgh fashion.
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