Blue Devil women are ready to rollPublished 9:44pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Riverland women’s basketball team will lean on five freshman and roster of just eight players as it looks to make it to the state tournament for the first time since 2009.
The Blue Devils, who went 13-14 overall last season, return All-State sophomore Rebekah Aase, and second-year guards Skylar Anderson and Sophia Hebrink.
Aase, a 6-2 center, had been out of basketball for a couple of years before last season, but she still averaged 14.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.96 blocks per game, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free throw line.
“Rebekah is gonna be huge for us,” RCC head coach Suzy Hebrink said. “Last year she wasn’t quite there yet.”
As for its newcomers, the Blue Devils will look to get strong defense from Golden Valley’s Jazmin Wilson and Monticello’s Morgan Lindenfelser, while Victoria Larson of Bangor, Wis. and Brittany Zuniga of Albert Lea should shore up the back court.
“Victoria Larson can play point guard; she sees the court and she handles the ball,” Hebrink said. “She gives us a true point guard, which we didn’t have last year.”
The Blue Devils will also look to develop Nicole Swanson, a center from Spring Valley, as the season goes along.
“Nicole didn’t play a lot last year and she needs to be more physical,” Hebrink said. “She can finish around the hoop and I think we’ll see a tremendous improvement out of her this year.”
Lindenfelser brings a lot of athleticism to the Blue Devils as she was an all-state track athlete. Lindenfelser, who competed in the high jump and the 400-meter dash, is ready to get the season started with the Blue Devils.
“It’s a whole different pace and it’s way different than high school. It’s more fun and more competitive,” she said. “We have to learn to play together and get in shape.”
Lindenfelser is looking forward to playing with Aase, who established herself as a premiere post presence last season.
“(Aase) gets a lot of rebounds and put-backs and she’s a big factor for us,” Lindenfelser said. “She’ll always be there in the middle.”
RCC opens its season at the Minnesota West Classic in Worthington this Saturday and Hebrink expects her squad to play its way into shape in the first couple weeks of the season.
“We have to work on conditioning, and when you only have eight you’re gonna get there in a hurry, because everyone’s gonna be playing a lot of minutes,” Hebrink said. “We’re feisty and we’re gonna be competitive without a doubt. We’re gonna have a nice team.”
RCC’s home opener is Nov. 7 against NIACC at 6 p.m. in Riverland Gym.