Women's Basketball Team Takes Back Region 19,
Show Heart and Determination to End


When can a loss in some way feel like a win? The Mercer Lady Vikes know the answer. After regaining the Region 19 title – its sixth title in seven years – Mercer faced the Community College of Rhode Island in the Northeast District Women's Basketball Championship on March 6, with the winner to head for the national tournament.

Taking the lead early in the game, Mercer then fell behind, trailing by 10 at halftime. In the second half the Vikings edged their way to within three points. Then they fell behind again, trailing by 11 with four minutes left. Again they rallied, managing a 14-3 run that forced overtime. With the overtime clock winding down, the women had several chances to tie or take the lead, but ultimately time ran out on the 2003-04 season, as CCRI won 75-72.

Head Coach Mike Tenaglia observed that the game's outcome came down to a few key plays – a lost ball, a few unsuccessful free throws. In addition, forward Katy McCormack got into foul trouble, center Alison Werkman was coming off an injury, and CCRI held Mercer's leading scorer, forward Vicki Jenkins, to only nine points. "Those are the kinds of things that change the outcomes of games," he said.

The women went into the District Tournament with a team record of 23-3 and an undefeated record in Region 19, including a 92-60 win over Salem in the semifinal round of the regional tourmament on Feb. 24 and a 72-63 victory over Union in the final on Feb. 26.

Head Coach Mike Tenaglia, courtside with his players, during the Northeast District match-up againt CC Rhode Island on March 6.

According to Tenaglia, the Lady Vikes were in top form this year. It was a great season for Tenaglia too, who notched his 200th win in a 74-32 rout of Passaic Community College on Jan. 8. "We had a nice nucleus of players. I expected them to do well and they lived up to expectations," Tenaglia said.

Tenaglia noted that the Lady Vikes were fierce competitors. "When they stepped onto the court, they were there to win," he said. "There was a real depth of talent. If one player was stopped, a teammate would step up." Tenaglia emphasized that this team was so much more than a group of stars. "Their cohesiveness and team chemistry were truly their greatest asset," he said.

According to Tenaglia, the list of stand-outs is long, including sophomore Vicki Jenkins, who broke the school record with 32 double doubles in her 42-game career at Mercer. Joining her were several other sophomores -- McCormack, Werkman, Ewa Mozdyniewicz and guards Courtney Williams and Rachel Graham -- as well as a number of freshmen -- guards Nicole Brown, Tashema Whittaker, and Nicole Riley, center Gina Broach, and forward Amber Oliver. Jenkins and Brown were named to the All-Region 19 first team; Whittaker was named to the second team.

Tenaglia is looking forward to a solid season next year with six or seven freshmen expected to return to the line-up.

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