A mix of veteran experience and talented youth looks to be a recipe for success for the Mount Ida women’s basketball team during the 2017-18 season, as third year Head Coach Katie Greene continues to push the Mustang program to new heights in the always-rugged Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
With her roster comprised of 11 freshmen and sophomores, Greene will look to her upperclassmen to set the tone both on and off the court, and she has tabbed seniors Patricia Liotta (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Hampton Bays) and Breanna Muir (Wareham, Mass./Wareham) as Mount Ida’s co-captains for the upcoming campaign. Greene, a former standout at Pine Manor and a fixture in New England women’s basketball circles for nearly two decades, describes her captains as “committed to making our program the very best it can be every day. They know I have high expectations of them, but they have higher ones for themselves, and that leadership will be invaluable going forward.”
Here’s a look at how things are shaping up for the 2017-18 edition of Mustang Women’s Basketball:
GUARD. The graduation of leading scorer Katlyn Jesse leaves a void in the Mount Ida backcourt, but the tandem of Liotta and Muir will more than make up for that loss. Liotta averaged 7.2 points per game and connected for 31 three-pointers last winter, while Muir chipped in with 6.7 points per outing that included 30 treys on the year. The duo combined for 38 starts for Greene, as Muir also led the squad in both assists (2.7) and steals (1.3) per game in 2016-17.
Sophomore Alisa Benson (Middletown, R.I./Middletown) came off the bench to average five points per game during her inaugural collegiate season last winter for Greene, while senior Jaime Moscato (Taunton, Mass./Taunton) lends additional experience after appearing in 21 of 25 contests a year ago and scoring 47 points. The quartet of junior Jessica D’Esposito (Malden, Mass./Pope John Paul XXIII), along with sophomores Jessica Cyr (Ashford, Conn./E.O. Smith), Taylor Churchill (Fort Fairfield, Maine/Fort Fairfield) and Emily Pentz (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville), will provide a veteran presence as well for the Mustangs, who welcome freshmen Skyler Sanborn (Vinalhaven, Maine/Vinalhaven), Skyler LeClair (Hinsdale, N.H./Hinsdale) and Melody Millett (Naples, Maine/Lake Region) into the fold at the guard spot.
FORWARD. Graduation also claimed last year’s second leading scorer in Brittany Crosby, but senior Imani Bumpus (Dedham, Mass./Capital Prep) looks to lead the way up front for Greene this winter after she returned from injury to start in 10 of 22 games and average 4.6 points and a pair of rebounds per contest. Sophomore Alexa Galluci (North Stonington, Conn./Wheeler) also returns after appearing in 15 games during her inaugural collegiate campaign for Mount Ida, which welcomes sophomore Valerie Martin (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) and freshman Caity Oliver (Oviedo, Fla./Oviedo) to the program as newcomers this year. Martin, who played one season at Keene State, also ran track at the University of Maine before making her way to Newton this fall.
CENTER. Greene will look to overcome the graduation of the GNAC’s leading rebounder in Angelique Martinez in the middle heading into the new year, as sophomore Jillian Alperin (Needham, Mass./Middlebridge) looks to step in to the center position after she gained valuable experience in 11 contests as a rookie last season.
SCHEDULE. The Mustangs are set to take on another challenging 25-game regular season slate in 2017-18, as in addition to the 16-game GNAC schedule, Greene’s crew will square off with Newbury, Bay Path, Salem State, Fitchburg State, Mount Holyoke, Becker and Southern Vermont in non-league play while also hosting the Mustang Classic against Wheelock and Dean.
Mount Ida tips off Katie Greene’s third season at the helm on Wednesday, November 15th when the Mustangs entertain Newbury in a non-league clash at the Athletic Center beginning at 6:00 pm EST.