Seattle U Opens 2013-14 Season in Defense of WAC Regular Season Title: Seattle University women’s basketball opens up the 2013-14 season hosting Pepperdine in their regular season opener on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. The preseason WAC favorites will look to repeat their WAC regular season title in 2013-14 and continue further in hopes of winning the WAC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth. Fans are encouraged to come early to the game as the Redhawks will celebrate their 2012-13 WAC Regular Season Championship with a special recognition and banner unveiling above their home court. The first 250 people in the door will receive a rally towel that is a replica of the WAC Championship banner.

Scouting Pepperdine: The 2012-13 season ended for Pepperdine in the first round of the West Coast Conference Championships with an 80-48 loss to San Francisco as the Waves posted just a 5-23 overall record. Ryan Weisenberg, who had served as an assistant for the 2012-13 season, was promoted to head coach in April 2013. Last week, Pepperdine narrowly defeated defending NAIA national champion Westmont, 57-55, in exhibition play. Pepperdine’s young 2013-14 roster does not feature a single senior, but consists of five juniors, six sophomores, and a pair of freshmen. Robie Mayberry led the Waves in 2012-13 with 10.6 ppg while Kelsey Patrick averaged 5.5 rpg.

Redhawks Chosen as Preseason WAC Favorites: The Western Athletic Conference media and coaches both chose Seattle U as the preseason favorite to win the Western Athletic Conference title in 2013-14. Sylvia Shephard and Kacie Sowell were named Preseason First Team All-WAC in both polls, while Ashley Ward was named Preseason Second-Team All-WAC in the coaches poll. Sowell was also named Preseason Player of the Year in both polls. College Sports Madness also named Kacie Sowell WAC Preseason Player of the Year, as well as naming Joan Bonvicini WAC Preseason Coach of the Year and Kaylee Best WAC Preseason Freshman of the Year.

Sowell named College Sports Madness High-Major All-American: Kacie Sowell was named to the College Sports Madness High-Major Preseason All-American Third Team.

Sowell Named Senior CLASS Award® Candidate: Sowell was one of 30 women’s basketball student-athletes across the country chosen as a candidate for the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award®, including one of three from the Western Athletic Conference (also: Alyssa Charlston, Idaho and Eilise O’Connor, Kansas City). To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must be an NCAA Division I senior and excel in four particular areas - community, classroom, character, and competition. The Senior CLASS Award® stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School® and is one of the most prestigious awards in college athletics. From the list of 30 candidates, a committee of national media will select 10 finalists midway through the season.

Foreign Tour in Costa Rica: Seattle U took a foreign tour to Costa Rica from August 19-26, 2013 where they played three contests, including one versus the Costa Rican National Team, which they won, 59-50. During the trip, the team and travel party also volunteered at a local school and did team building activities like white water rafting and ziplining.

The New WAC: Seattle U, Idaho, and New Mexico State return to the Western Athletic Conference and welcome six newcomers to the league including Kansas City, Chicago State, Texas Pan-American, Bakersfield, Utah Valley, and Grand Canyon.

In With the New: Seattle U WBB welcomes six newcomers to the 2013-14 squad including Wilma Afunugo (Plano, Texas), Kaylee Best (Seattle, Wash.), Tatiana Howard (Gardena, Calif.), Claire Metoyer (Desoto, Texas), Alexis Montgomery (Beaverton, Ore.), and Masha Shtikel (Shoreline, Wash.)

Bonvicini Hires Derek Liebert: Derek Liebert was hired as an assistant coach in September 2013, bringing experience working with the 2012-13 season as well as working with the Seattle Storm most recently as Basketball Operations Manager. Liebert received his Masters of Education in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership from Washington in June 2013 and is a 2012 graduate of Xavier University, where he served as program manager for the Xavier women’s basketball team.
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