• 68°

Lady Saints ready to run against conference foes

With head coach Kathleen Hotte entering her second year in charge of the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ basketball team, the outlook on the season is a unified one.

&uot;We’re working a lot harder in every practice,&uot; said Parris Grieder.

&uot;I think we’re more in sync this year, but we’re also a lot better conditioned too,&uot; said Courtney White.

&uot;We’re definitely more in shape,’ said Ellen Giermak.

Why all the sprints and suicides apparently being done leading up to this year?

Last year’s team finished in the upper half of the TCIS, and placed Michelle Boucher, first team, and Parris Grieder, second team, on All-TCIS teams.

Grieder, a senior, and Boucher, a junior, are back this season as is most of last year’s team which had only two departing seniors.

In addition to the experienced pieces already in place, younger players such as Jenna Starkey, Jenna Robb, Genny Stulb and Kristen MacKinnon who were part of a JV squad that turned in a 12-7 record last year, mean the Lady Saints have a deep and talented roster.

That’s exactly the reason behind the hard work going into this season according to Grieder.

&uot;Last year was a building year, we only lost two people and this year we feel really good going about what we’re doing.&uot;

Expect a fast pace, says Giermak, &uot;we’re going to run the ball as much as possible.&uot;

And expect all that conditioning to pay off on both ends of the floor says Grieder, &uot;we’ve been concentrating on defense and pressuring other teams with our defense.&uot;

Among the three seniors, Grieder, White and Giermak, the unanimous belief was that Norfolk Collegiate looks to still be the school to beat within the conference.

The Lady Saints travel to face the Lady Oaks on Feb. 9.

Adding to the rest of the annual TCIS battles, the Lady Saints’ schedule also includes tough dates against Western Branch, St. Catherine’s and Richmond Collegiate.

The Lady Saints will also attempt to defend last year’s title at the Academy’s Christmas Tournament at Southampton Academy Dec. 15 and 16.

andrew.giermak@suffolknewsherald.com