Coach Amanda Levens
November 13, 2008|
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's basketball kicks off the new season Saturday at home against Illinois-Springfield.
SIUE, recently members of the Ohio Valley Conference, start the first season in the reclassification to NCAA Division I. The Cougars start the season with two returning players from last season, Jessie Stapleton (Chillicothe) and Brittany Imig (Joshua, Texas). Bethany Lee (Peoria) also is a returner who played for the Cougars during the 2006-2007 season.
First-year SIUE coach Amanda Levens said her team has been giving full effort.
"Everyone has stepped up into their role on the team," Levens said.
Levens said she will look for the newcomers to the program to step up and play at a high level.
"The team has done a great job coming in and being ready to play. We want to get better as a team in every game," added Levens."
Illinois-Springfield comes into Saturday's matchup with a young squad under coach Roy Gilmore, who was previously an assitant coach for the SIUE women's basketball team.
"Illinois Springfield will play a physical team game," Levens said. "We have to be ready to take somebody's best."
The Cougars start the season on a mission to build a strong, new tradition of basketball.
"We want to set the standard in every game that it is a privilege to be a part of SIUE women's basketball," Levens said.