SEASON OUTLOOK

The 2004-05 season looks to be one of great promise for the Lady Bulldogs of Union University. As always, the goal is the NAIA National Title and Coach Mark Campbell has added to his already strong returning class to make a run for the 2005 crown.

Union’s schedule this season is filled with numerous NAIA teams that find themselves in the NAIA National Tournament from year to year. Teams fitting that description on the 2004-05 schedule for the Lady Bulldogs include North Georgia, Univ. of Science and Arts, Vanguard, Oklahoma City, Houston Baptist, Campbellsville, and Brescia. Also included on that list are TranSouth Conference foes Freed-Hardeman and Trevecca Nazarene. Union will face many tough test from start to finish of the regular season schedule, but come national tournament time, Union will be well prepared for anyone standing in the way. One tournament to really test the Lady Bulldogs early will be the Jackson Rotary Classic on Nov. 18, 19, and 20th. Union will be facing NAIA Top 5 opponents Vanguard University (Calif.) and Oklahoma City University.

Leading this year’s team will be a group of four very talented seniors. Led by last season TranSouth Conference Player of the Year and first team NAIA All-American, Stephanie Clark (pictured right). She led the nation in field goal percentage and was second in rebounding and total double-doubles. Molly York returns as a great shooter at the forward position. Laura Mitchell (pictured below) returns after leading the Lady Bulldogs in three pointers made last season as a junior. And Monica Elliott returns to give experience and depth at the point guard position.

The junior class is made up of three players, two returning and one transfer. Jennifer Henson is returning after finished second behind Mitchell in three pointers made last season. Peggy McCain is back to provide depth and leadership off the bench. Tiffany Fisher begins her much anticipated Union career after transferring in from MTSU. She will make immediate contributions at the guard position.

Four players make up the sophomore class for the Lady Bulldogs. Three of these players are transfers into the program while one player, Latorya Fuller, will red-shirt this season. Whitney Tate comes to Union from ETSU and Ena Daniels transfers in from Western Illinois. Both of these players will provide Union with early contributions at the guard position. Natanya Smith transfers to Union from Lee University where she was a TranSouth All-Freshman performer last season. She will complete a great one-two punch in the post with Clark.

Union boasts three super freshman on their roster. Crystal Eason, one of the top 5 scorers in Tennessee basketball history gives depth to the guard position. The 2003 and 2004 Class A Miss Basketball in Tennessee, Merideth Richardson joins Union’s dominating group of guards. Paola Ferrari comes to Union from Asuncion, Paraguay and will make immediate impact on this team with her size and strength at the point guard position.

Union is loaded and ready for that run at the NAIA National Title and to also regain something lost from last season, the TranSouth Tournament Championship. Union has won eight of the past nine conference tournament championships, including seven of the eight TranSouth Tournament titles dating back to the 1996-97 season. Union has won nine straight conference regular season championships, including all eight TranSouth regular season titles.

 

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