The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Cavaliers begin season on the road against Hampton

Virginia women's basketball will open its season on the road at Hampton tonight after winding up its preseason schedule, 1-1. The Cavaliers fell to the Moscow Dynamo, 84-72, Nov. 5, but rebounded to beat the Houston Jaguars, 72-67, Nov. 8.

Virginia heads into the season with a young squad. Lone senior Telisha Quarles split time at point guard with junior Liz Sahin on Thursday, but Sahin will be benched for the first four games of the regular season due to NCAA regulations governing her play with a club team in her native Turkey.

Virginia coach Debbie Ryan had hoped to leave Quarles at shooting guard this season, but Ryan may ask her to step up and occasionally run the floor, a responsibility for which she said she feels Quarles is ready.

"Of all the players on the team, I think Telisha has improved the most," Ryan said. She's improved "more mentally in her approach to the game and her work ethic over this past year than I have seen in her in her three years here."

Quarles contributed 18 points for the Cavaliers against Moscow.

Outside the arc, Ryan is looking for an aggressive shooter in sophomore Anna Prillaman, who had 12 points against Houston on Thursday. Freshmen Brandi Teamer and LaToya Blue also will be crucial to the Virginia arsenal. Teamer notched a double-double, with 19 points and 12 rebounds Monday, while Blue pulled down 18 rebounds over the two games and led all Virginia scorers with 17 points against Houston.

Teamer "is a strong, athletic young player," Ryan said. "She can step out and shoot the three, she can post up and be very strong inside. She's just got a lot of skills in that area and it will really help us to have that kind of athleticism inside."

Freshman Jocelyn Logan-Friend logged a lot of minutes at forward in Thursday's game and put 10 points on the board for the Cavaliers. Both she and sophomore captain Anna Crosswhite will need to step up with Blue and Teamer to fill the gap left at forward by the absence this season of Marcie Dickson. Dickson redshirted for medical reasons and will return next year.

Tomorrow Virginia will face a Hampton team that gave it quite a scare at University Hall last year. The Pirates finally fell, 75-72, in the final seconds of the game. This season, the Pirates should give the young Virginia team the opportunity to continue to get a feel for its dynamic on the floor.

With so many youngsters, defense is probably the weakest aspect of the Cavaliers' game right now, but Ryan is a self-professed "defensive coach" and eager to teach the freshmen to play Virginia basketball.

"I think the defensive system is the toughest thing for a first-year player to learn," Ryan said. "It's much more complicated than high school and it's much more hard work."

Ryan is prepared for the squad to struggle early on defense but to find its groove as the season progresses.

Blue feels that the team will find a rhythm, too.

"We have diverse personalities on this team, everyone is unique," she said. "Once everyone connects, I think we're going to do better than people expect us to do"


Latest Podcast

Today, we sit down with both the president and treasurer of the Virginia women's club basketball team to discuss everything from making free throws to recent increased viewership in women's basketball.