Women's Basketball Travels To West Virginia To Begin 2015-16 Campaign

Women's Basketball Travels To West Virginia To Begin 2015-16 Campaign

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team tips off its season with a pair of games at the GMAC-GLIAC Crossover, hosted by Alderson Broaddus, this weekend.

The Panthers take on Alderson Broaddus at 7 p.m. Friday in the season opener, then will take on Cedarville at 1 p.m. Saturday.

ODU won its only matchup in school history against Alderson Broaddus back in 2003. The Panthers and Cedarville matched up last year, with the Yellow Jackets coming away with an 85-82 victory in Alumni Hall on Nov. 15. Cedarville qualified for the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season and is receiving votes in the preseason Top 25 poll.

The Panthers went 11-17 last year, including 8-14 in the GLIAC, and return 11 letterwinners and five players with starting experience. They were projected to finish fifth in the GLIAC South Division.

Senior forward Melissa Scherpenberg (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior forward Madi Rittinger (Dayton, Ohio) were each named Preseason Second Team All-GLIAC picks.

Scherpenberg is the leading returner scorer and rebounder as she put up 11.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last year. She tallied 14 double-doubles last year, giving her 29 in her career. She also scored in double figures in 15 games and 10 or more rebounds in 14 games. Scherpenberg also shot better than 50 percent from the field in 14 games.

Rittinger averaged 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while also blocking 61 shots (2.2 per game). She had three 20-point games last year, including a career high 24 points against Ursuline, and blocked four or more shots in five games.

Junior Jackie Oestreich (Brighton, Mich.), who started 14 games last year, will rejoin the team following the conclusion of ODU's volleyball season. She averaged 6.1 points per game last year. Sophomore Sarah Futscher (Wilder, Ky.) and junior Lindsey Blanford (Xenia, Ohio) also return after seeing time last year.

The backcourt is led by junior Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio), who started all 28 games last year and scored 7.5 points per game. One of the better defensive wings in the GLIAC, Bates also averaged 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. She also shot 82.4 percent from the free throw line.

Senior Rachael Torey (Sterling Heights, Mich.) returns after missing all of 2014-15 with injury. She's played 46 games in her career (29 starts) and averaged 7.8 points per game on 43.6 percent shooting during her freshman campaign.

Juniors Kayla Cook (Westerville, Ohio) and Tori Beth Leader (West Portsmouth, Ohio) also return in the backcourt. Cook appeared in 24 games last year, putting up 12 points and seven rebounds in a game at nationally ranked Wayne State, and averaged 9.7 minutes per game. Leader, meanwhile, averaged 5.5 points per game and scored in double figures six times.

Sophomores Megan Eyre (Fayetteville, Ohio) and Darian Rose (Fort Loramie, Ohio) also saw extensive playing time during their rookie campaigns. Eyre appeared in 24 games and shot 41.8 percent from the field, scoring a season high 14 points against Indianapolis, and Rose averaged 12.8 minutes per game off the bench, scoring a season best 15 points against St. Joseph's.

A trio of freshmen will vie for playing time this season as well in Cayla Bensman (Anna, Ohio), Brianna Dawes (Chillicothe, Ohio) and Alexis Overly (Chillicothe, Ohio).

Ohio Dominican's home opener will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 against West Liberty.

Contact: Scott Miles