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Nicolette Chamberlain-Simon

SPORTS 11/12/14 2:30pm

Women's basketball season preview

The Rice University women’s basketball team begins a new season this Friday, Nov. 14, opening at home against Prairie View A&M University. After the loss of Jessica Kuster, the all-time leading scorer in both Rice men’s and women’s basketball history after scoring 2,081 career points, the team is shifting to a more collective mindset. According to senior guard Reem Moussa, this year’s team will focus more on sharing the ball and getting more players involved.“This year is different [from] every other year I’ve been here because we’re very team-oriented,” Moussa said. “It hasn’t been that way for a while. Before, it was just find Kuster, but now I feel like that’s going to be spread out onto all of us — all 15 people on the team.”With Kuster being the lead scorer in 28 out of 30 games in the 2013-14 season, the ball will have to be passed on to new hands this year. The question of whose hands those will be has yet to be determined. Head Coach Greg Williams said that as of now, there is no one person he is expecting to dominate the scoreboard. “Time will tell, once we start playing games, which players are going to be able to take advantage of that opportunity to step up,” Williams said. “We don’t know who that’s going to be, and quite honestly it’s probably going to be multiple players from game to game … I really think we’ll be a team where we’ll need to play nine or ten players a game to try to see which players are being productive on that particular night.”Other than a torn ACL for sophomore Maya Hawkins, who made 14 starts at point guard as a freshman, and the loss of Kuster, the women’s basketball team has kept every other player on its roster. Five of those returning players are seniors, including guards Maya Adetula and Nakachi Maduka, power forward Christal Porter, forward Megan Shafer and Moussa. Maduka, Moussa and Porter were all consistent starters during their junior years. Sophomore forward Jasmine Goodwine said the seniors have already taken up many leadership roles for this year’s squad. “[The seniors are] there in every aspect for us,” Goodwine said. “They step up as examples and show us what it takes to be good student-athletes and just good leaders in general.”Goodwine made an appearance in every game last year as the top freshman scorer, with the fourth-highest number of points on the team, averaging 5.5 pointsper contest. The women’s basketball team has also made three additions to its roster: Freshmen Courtney Brown, Wendy Knight and Shani Rainey are all Texas recruits with opportunities to see playing time during their first year. Porter said the freshmen have already been making an impact on the team. “They’re picking up everything very quickly, very fast,” Porter said. “They’re adjusting very well and also contributing, which is something that’s nice to have.”The team has been focusing its goals more on the intangibles this offseason. Williams said he is looking at the short-term for now and working to prepare the team as best as possible for theupcoming season.“Every team in America right now is going to talk about winning a conference championship,” Williams said. “Because we have a 14-team league, only one team’s going to do it. I just want our team to improve as the season goes on and continue to work hard and continue to be coachable and have good attitudes and enjoy their experience playing women’s basketball at Rice University.”Regardless of who will be starting or playing in the first game on Friday, Nov. 14, Williams said the players are guaranteed to bring a lot of energy tothe court. “They’re going to play hard, I think they’re going to compete, I think they’re going to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and I think they’re going to be fun to watch,” Williams said. The first game of the season will take place in Tudor Fieldhouse this Friday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.

SPORTS 4/17/13 7:00pm

Women's tennis stays hot: No. 1 in C-USA

After 12 straight wins, a No. 20 national ranking and a record of 17-4, the Rice University women's tennis team closed out one of its best regular seasons in history. To make the ending even sweeter, a senior, captain Katie Gater earned the winning point in last Saturday's Senior Day match against the University of Utah to give the Owls a 4-3 victory.