DAC 10 Capsules

Updated: November 1, 2003, 5:52 PM ET

BISMARCK, N.D. -- A team-by-team look at the Dakota Athletic Conference women's 2003-2004 basketball season.

< ^UNIVERSITY OF MARY=

2002-03: 26-6 overall, 16-2 DAC-10 (tied for first).

Head coach: Fred Fridley, first year (0-0).

Key returnees: Sarah Leer, sr., F, 15.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, Jessica Zundel, jr., F, 11.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg. Natalie Brunner, jr., G, 11.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg. Nicole Meier, so., C, 6.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg.

Fridley: "This team did a lot of things to improve in the offseason, and we're all really looking forward to getting started. I think losing in the (NAIA) quarterfinals last year left a bitter taste in their mouths, and now this team is champing at the bit to get out there and compete again."

Outlook: The Marauders are the preseason pick to win the DAC-10. Roger Haug left things in good shape for first-year head coach Fred Fridley, who has a lot of talent, balance and experience back. Mary's season ended last year with a loss in the national quarterfinals.

< ^DICKINSON STATE=

2002-03: 28-6 overall, 16-2 DAC-10 (tied for first).

Head coach: Tara Kreklau, fifth year (71-50).

Key returnees: Jessica Campbell, jr., G, 9.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg. Sara Berglund, jr., G, 8.8 ppg, 36.5 percent on 3-pointers. Nicci Schorsch, 6-0, sr., F-C, 7 ppg, 6.0 rpg. Nikida McSween, sr., C-F, 6.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg.

Kreklau: "We lost three key seniors, but one of the things we have to determine is what this team's identity will be. We're not trying to replace them. This team is trying to develop its own chemistry, and it has to find out what it's going to do to be a good team."

Outlook: Two-time Dakota Athletic Conference most valuable player Stacie Schorsch is gone, meaning the Blue Hawks will need a few players to step up in the post, but DSU still has a lot of talent coming back. The backcourt should be solid, and there is potential for DSU to be a very good shooting team.

< ^BLACK HILLS STATE=

2002-03: 11-16 overall, 7-11 DAC-10 (seventh).

Head coach: Mark Nore, second year (11-16).

Key returnees: Joni Lunney, jr., F-C, 14.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg. Heather Combs, jr., F, 10.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg. Amanda Mortenson, sr., G, 8.1 ppg, 2.3 apg.

Outlook: Black Hills State returns three starters from last season, and Lunney and Combs are proven players in the DAC-10. The frontcourt is solid, and the backcourt has a lot of experience. This team may not have enough firepower to make a run for a conference title, but it should improve on last year's seventh-place finish in the league standings.

< ^DAKOTA STATE=

2002-03: 20-12 overall, 10-8 DAC-10 (fourth).

Head coach: Jeff Dittman, 10th year (143-129).

Key returnees: Hali McClelland, sr., F-C, 11.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg. Amber Malvin, so., G, 5.9 ppg. Renae Bottum, jr., G, 2.8 ppg.

Dittman: "We lost four starters, so we're going to be very young. But the key for us is to build on what we did last season. We'll have to grow up quickly if we want to compete at that same level. The first part of the schedule is going to be critical."

Outlook: Dakota State lost four starters from a team that got to the national tournament last year, but Dittman has some talent coming back. The Trojans should be able to put a lot of points on the board, but their improvement in other areas will dictate whether they will match the success of last season.

< ^JAMESTOWN=

2002-03: 9-17 overall, 8-10 DAC-10 (tied for fifth).

Head coach: Lawrie Paulson, 19th year (266-215).

Key returnees: Lindsey Ness, so., C, 8.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg. Amy Loff, 5-7, jr., G, 6.0 ppg. Nicole Nold, so., C, 7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg.

Outlook: The Jimmies might have more potential than any team in the DAC-10 with plenty of talented youth returning, and they are coming off a great finish to 2002-03. Ness is one of the best young talents in the league, and she is surrounded by plenty of good shooters.

< ^MAYVILLE STATE=

2002-03: 13-17 overall, 6-12 DAC-10 (eighth).

Head coach: Jay Tschetter, seventh year (81-91).

Key returnees: Joelle Wendland, sr., G, 9.1 ppg, 2.0 apg. Tara Lalim, sr., C, 8.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg. Mandey Gillis, sr., G, 6.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg.

Tschetter: "We're very young, so there are going to be good nights and nights where there are big-time growing pains. We don't have any superstars, but there aren't any bad players on this team either, so we have balance. We have talent, we just need to build that chemistry."

Outlook: Nine of the 13 players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores. Mayville proved it could play with the top teams last year, as the Comets downed Mary in the first round of the conference tournament. The team could move up from last year's finish if the players find chemistry early.

< ^MINOT STATE=

2002-03: 13-16 overall, 8-10 DAC-10 (tied for fifth).

Head coach: Sheila Green-Gerding, ninth year (136-94).

Key returnees: LeeAnn Pekovitch, sr., F, 10.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg. Lyndsi Johnson, sr., C, 11.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg. Betsy Vig, so., G.

Green-Gerding: "We're a pretty athletic team that has good quickness, and we should have good balance. Chemistry will be a big thing for us, and we're going to have to grind out a few games so we know how to play together. Time will help us improve."

Outlook: With eight new players on the roster, the preconference schedule is going to be critical for Minot State. Pekovitch and Johnson are proven, quality players, but the rest of the roster is a mystery.

< ^SI TANKA-HURON=

2002-03: 3-25 overall, 2-16 DAC-10 (10th).

Head coach: Mark Schweigert, first year (0-0).

Key returnees: Teri Johnson, sr., G. Jolene Gaines, sr., F. Stephanie Harkless, sr., F.

Outlook: The Screaming Eagles did not have the depth or consistency to compete in the DAC-10 last season. They finished last in the league in nearly every statistical category. This team needs to improve defensively to get out of the league basement, but it could be another long year.

< ^SOUTH DAKOTA TECH=

2002-03: 19-11 overall, 13-5 DAC-10 (third).

Head coach: Barb Felderman, 23rd year.

Key returnees: Miaken Ziegler, sr., F, 13.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg. Stacie Vedvei, 15.2 ppg, 7.0 ppg. Cori Leis, 9.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg.

Outlook: The Hardrockers are a talented, disciplined team that makes few mistakes, and they know how to score points. The one-two punch of Ziegler and Vedvie is as good as any in the DAC-10. This group should be one of the teams to watch in the conference this season.

< ^VALLEY CITY STATE=

2002-03: 7-20 overall, 4-14 DAC-10 (ninth).

Head coach: Jill DeVries, fifth year (34-79).

Key returnees: Jessica James, sr., G, 12.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.5 apg. Janae Larson, so., G, 7.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg. Kristel Engelby, sr., C, 5.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg.

DeVries: "Our overall depth is better at every position, but they're not DAC-10 tested. We've got good young talent, and we'll be much improved, but that doesn't always equal more wins. We'll be much more athletic, and we should be highly competitive."

Outlook: The Vikings are another young team with talent, meaning chemistry will be a big issue early. Valley City has 12 sophomores and freshmen on the roster. The Vikings might not make a big leap in the standings this season, but the 2002-03 campaign could lay the foundation for bigger and better things ahead.

<

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