ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s basketball team is ready to get back on the court and host its lone exhibition game of the season when it welcomes Catawba on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. in Alumni Gym. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth 12 and under.
After advancing to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament last season, the Phoenix is ready for its transition to the Colonial Athletic Association. Head coach Charlotte Smith begins her fourth season at the helm of the Elon program and has tallied a 50-44 career record over three years.
Elon returns four starters and a total of 11 letter winners from last year’s team. Seniors Sam Coffer and Zora Stephenson join Lauren Brown and 2014 SoCon Freshman of the Year Jenifer Rhodes as the Phoenix returning starters, while the maroon and gold brings back a wealth of experience in Shannen Cochraham, Autumn Carter, Jessica Farmer and Lenaira Ruffin who made combined 19 starts last year. Elon’s wealth of experience off the bench also includes Nicole Razor, Lauren Hudson and Josepha Mbouma.
Two other key players for Elon this season will be Mackenzie Darrah and Essence Baucom. Darrah missed last season with an injury and Baucom served her year-in-residence requirement after transferring from UAB.
New to the team this season are three talented freshmen – Shay Burnett, Malaya Johnson and Emily Sasser. Elon also welcomes new assistant coach Tasha Taylor and director of operations Morgan Oliver who both joined the team this fall.
Elon was selected to finish sixth in the 2014 CAA Preseason Coaches Poll that was released last week. James Madison, the reigning conference tournament champion, was picked to repeat as champions, followed by Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra and Towson. Northeastern, William & Mary, College of Charleston and UNC Wilmington were selected to finish behind the Phoenix.
This is the first meeting for Elon and Catawba since Elon moved to the Division I level. The programs are playing for the 50th time after meeting twice a year from 1984-1997. Contests between the Phoenix and the Indians began on Feb. 10, 1972, when Elon took a 39-35 win in its first year of competition. The last game went the way of the Indians, 69-63, on Feb. 12, 1997. Elon holds the lead in the all-time series, 30-19.
The Indians finished last season with a 14-13 overall record and a 12-10 mark in the South Atlantic Conference. Catawba returns forward Chloe Bully who led the Indians with 13.9 points per game last year. The game also marks a homecoming for Indian center Terri Rogers who is from Burlington, N.C., and attended Eastern Alamance.
The Phoenix officially opens the season on Friday, Nov. 14, in the first game of an Elon basketball doubleheader. Elon hosts Anderson at 5 p.m. in Alumni Gym.
To purchase tickets to Sunday’s game or any of the exciting games in Alumni Gym this season, call the Elon Ticket Office at 336-278-6750.