JACKSON, Tenn. - 10/29/2009 -
The Union University Lady Bulldog basketball team is preparing for an exhibition game with Vanderbilt (Tenn.) University on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The game will kick-off the 2009-10 season for Union with the first regular season game coming on Monday at 7:00 p.m. versus No. 14 Columbia (Mo.) College at Union.
“We are excited to play at Vanderbilt this weekend”, says Union head coach Mark Campbell. “I grew up watching games at Memorial. It is a great opportunity for us to play against such a great program. We respect what Vanderbilt stands for in the classroom and on the floor because we take pride in those things here at Union. We will definitely know what our weaknesses are after the game. I have no doubt that this game will make us better in every facet.”
Union is facing Vanderbilt for the fifth time with the series knotted at 2-2. Union defeated Vanderbilt twice during the 1976-77 season, 97-44 and 117-42. Vanderbilt has since won two straight with an 89-74 win in 1981-82 and a 90-83 win in 1982-83.
The Lady Bulldogs are coming off their fourth NAIA National Championship. It was also their third national title in the past five seasons. Union returns three starters from last season, but must find a way fill the void left by two NAIA All-Americans, including two-time NAIA Player of the Year and WNBA draftee, Josephine Owino.
Union enters this season as the NAIA’s top women’s program with 1,035 wins. Dating back to the 1972-73 season, Union is 1,035-190 (.845).
Union is currently riding a 24 game winning streak and has won 70 of their last 72 contests. The Lady Bulldogs have been ranked No. 1 in the NAIA preseason polls for four straight seasons, and have made five straight appearances in the NAIA semifinals. This also marks the twenty-sixth straight No. 1 ranking for the Union Lady Bulldogs.
Union head coach Mark Campbell is 328-44 (.882) and is the NAIA’s winning percentage leader for coaches with at least five years experience.
Vanderbilt has been picked to finish fourth in the 2009-10 SEC preseason poll. Last season, Vandy was ranked No. 14 in the final AP ranking and was eliminated by Maryland, 78-74, in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA National Tournament.
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