College Sports

Queens insider: Women’s basketball struggles through a rebuilding year

Queens women’s basketball coach Susan Yow, center, talks with her players during a timeout. Yow saw the Royals finish the 2014-15 season with records of 5-22 overall and 3-18 SAC.
Queens women’s basketball coach Susan Yow, center, talks with her players during a timeout. Yow saw the Royals finish the 2014-15 season with records of 5-22 overall and 3-18 SAC. COURTESY OF MIKE SLADE

Queens University of Charlotte women’s basketball coach Susan Yow knew the 2014-15 team would see its share of struggles after losing nearly two-thirds of its players from the previous season.

Yet during the Royals’ worst season in eight years, Yow saw signs that future seasons won’t be so rough.

“We were the youngest team in the league, and the least-experienced team in the league,” Yow said. “But as it turned out, we’re playing in a league that’s sending five teams to the (NCAA Division II) regionals.

“That bodes well for us down the road.… I’m very optimistic about making some strong strides next year, and showing the improvement and hard work that’s been going on here the past two years.”

Queens – in its second year in the SAC – finished the season with a 5-22 record (3-19 in conference), the Royals’ worst finish since going 4-24 as a Division II independent in 2006-07.

Queens’ first season in the SAC – also Yow’s first year with the team – saw the Royals finish 7-19 (6-16 conference).

But the differences between the two seasons go deeper than records.

Queens’ roster went through quite a shakeup in the offseason: seven players on the 2013-14 roster weren’t around for the next season, either through graduation or transferring to other schools.

“It’s been two tough years,” Yow said. “We were competitive in a lot of games, but we had to revamp a lot. We lost a lot of kids.”

Only four players returned: sophomore guard/forward Aileen Savino, junior guard Erin Brundage and the team’s two seniors, forward Lacey Singletary and guard Abby Pettit.

“We brought in nine new players, three of them junior college transfers,” Yow said.

Singletary finished the season as Queens’ leading scorer (11.9 points per game) and rebounder (6.4 per game), and was second in steals (31). She also set a school record by averaging 3.1 blocks per game (85 for the season).

Pettit was third on the Royals in scoring (6.9 ppg), and second in both rebounding (5.3 per game) and assists (66 for the season).

But newcomers also made an impact.

Sophomore forward McKell Oliverio was second in scoring (8.5 ppg) and third in rebounding (3.6 per game).

Freshman guard Carmen Richardson, coming off the bench in all 27 games, was fourth in scoring (5.9 per game). JUCO transfer Karleasha Thompson, a junior guard, led the team in assists (76) and steals (35), and was fifth in scoring (5.7 ppg).

“We saw some glimmers,” Yow said. “They sensed they could compete, but they never sensed they could win. We didn’t have the confidence they could do that.

“It was a major undertaking. We ran a whole new offense from the previous year. But they weathered it, and they made it through with the right attitude. We’re moving in the right direction.”

Lewis, Morgan are All-SAC

Queens men’s basketball players Rob Lewis and Sean Morgan were named to the All-SAC’s second team.

Lewis and Morgan, both juniors, were key in the Royals’ third-place finish in the SAC standings.

Lewis averaged 16.3 points per game, sixth in the league. He was also fourth in assists (3.9 per game) and tied for sixth in steals (1.4 per game).

Morgan was second in scoring for Queens at 14.4 points per game, and led the team in rebounding (6.5 per game, 10th in the league) and field goal percentage (59.6 percent, second in the SAC).

Sload is women’s soccer assistant

Former Queens women’s soccer player Megan Sload has been hired as an assistant coach for the Royals.

Sload, who played at Queens from 2009-2012, spent a year as an assistant coach at Guilford College in Greensboro. She also is serving as head coach of Harding University High School’s girls’ soccer team.

Sload was a coach with the Charlotte United Futbol Club’s Under-9 Pre-Academy program for two years, and worked as an evaluator for the N.C. Olympic Development Program. She also spent a year as a volunteer assistant at Queens in 2013.

As a player with the Royals, Sload saw action in 67 games over four seasons as a midfielder. She finished with 12 career goals and five assists, and twice was named to the Conference Carolinas’ academic all-conference team.

Tennis ranked nationally

Thanks to an undefeated start, Queens’ men’s and women’s tennis teams have moved into the top 30 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings.

Both Royals teams are ranked 29th in the nation in the ITA’s NCAA Division II rankings as of Feb. 25.

For Queens’ men’s team, it’s the best ITA ranking since rising to No. 29 in 2011. For the women, the current ranking is a first for the program.

Bill Kiser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Bill? Email him at bkisercltobs@gmail.com.

Upcoming events

March 18

▪ Men’s lacrosse: at Lenoir-Rhyne, Hickory, 5 p.m.

March 20

▪ Men’s track and field: at 49ers Classic, Charlotte.

▪ Women’s track and field: at 49ers Classic, Charlotte.

▪ Women’s tennis: at Winston-Salem State, Winston-Salem, TBA.

March 21

▪ Men’s track and field: at 49ers Classic, Charlotte; at Power Sox Invitational, Hickory.

▪ Women’s track and field: at 49ers Classic, Charlotte; at Power Sox Invitational, Hickory.

▪ Softball: vs. Tusculum, Park Road Park, 1 p.m. (doubleheader).

▪ Women’s lacrosse: at Lincoln Memorial, Harrogate, Tenn., 1 p.m.

▪ Men’s lacrosse: at Lincoln Memorial, Harrogate, Tenn., 3 p.m.

March 22

▪ Softball: vs. Pfeiffer, Park Road Park, 12 p.m. (doubleheader).

▪ Men’s tennis: at Coker, Hartsville, S.C., 2 p.m.

▪ Women’s tennis: at Coker, Hartsville, S.C., 2 p.m.

March 23

▪ Men’s golf: at Cliffs Intercollegiate, Travelers Rest, S.C.

▪ Women’s golf: at Wingate Intercollegiate Challenge, Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation, Charlotte.

March 24

▪ Men’s golf: at Cliffs Intercollegiate, Travelers Rest, S.C.

▪ Women’s golf: at Wingate Intercollegiate Challenge, Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation, Charlotte.

March 25

▪ Men’s tennis: vs. Wingate, Freedom Park, 2 p.m.

▪ Softball: at Coker, Hartsville, S.C., 2 p.m. (doubleheader).

▪ Women’s tennis: vs. Wingate, Freedom Park, 2 p.m.

▪ Women’s lacrosse: at Lenoir-Rhyne, Hickory, 4 p.m.

▪ Men’s lacrosse: vs. Catawba, Queens Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

March 27

▪ Men’s track and field: at Raleigh Relays, Raleigh.

▪ Women’s track and field: at Raleigh Relays, Raleigh.

▪ Women’s tennis: vs. Brevard, Freedom Park, 1 p.m.

▪ Men’s tennis: vs. Brevard, Freedom Park, 1 p.m.

March 28

▪ Men’s track and field: at Raleigh Relays, Raleigh; at Winthrop Invitational, Rock Hill, S.C.

▪ Women’s track and field: at Raleigh Relays, Raleigh; at Winthrop Invitational, Rock Hill, S.C.

▪ Softball: vs. Brevard, Park Road Park, 1 p.m. (doubleheader)

▪ Men’s lacrosse: vs. Florida Southern, Queens Sports Complex, 1 p.m.

March 30

▪ Women’s golf: at Cherokee Valley Invitational, Tigerville, N.C.

▪ Men’s golf: at Campbell Oil-Sunoco Classic, Wallace, N.C.

March 31

▪ Women’s golf: at Cherokee Valley Invitational, Tigerville, N.C.

▪ Men’s golf: at Campbell Oil-Sunoco Classic, Wallace, N.C.

▪ Women’s tennis: vs. Mars Hill, Freedom Park, 1 p.m.

▪ Men’s tennis: vs. Mars Hill, Freedom Park, 1 p.m.

April 1

▪ Softball: vs. Catawba, Park Road Park, 1:30 p.m. (doubleheader).

Source: www.queensathletics.com.

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