Women's Basketball Team Earns
Winning Record, But No Title This Season


With a final record of 20-10, there were a number of great moments in the 2008-09 women's basketball season, but regrettably, no regional title. The team bowed out in the first round of the NJCAA Region 19 tournament in a 49-44 loss to Essex CC on Feb. 23, the same fate they had suffered in the past two seasons. "They are proving to be our nemesis," said Head Coach Mike Tenaglia.

With Mercer the four-seed and Essex the five-seed, the two teams were practically even going into the tournament. During the regular season, Mercer had beaten Essex 55-46 on Dec. 11 and lost to Essex 51-49 on Jan. 20. "We had plenty of chances to win the game," Tenaglia said. He notes that the Lady Vikes were upset to be knocked out of the play-offs again, but recognized it would have been difficult to beat Union CC, which dominated the region all season.

With no standout stars on this year's squad, unity was a key theme, according to Tenaglia. "The players really liked each other. When we played well, it was usually because we were playing as a team," he said. He notes that the Lady Vikes ran hot and cold. "In some games we played great, but in others we were flat." Tenaglia achieved a personal milestone with his 300th win on January 31 in a 78-57 win over Salem CC.
In addition to their on-the-court accomplishments, the team also worked well off the court. "Academically our players were on track throughout the season," Tenaglia said. "The women became better at juggling responsibilities - their schoolwork, social life, and basketball. They learned how to produce under stress. All of this will serve them well later in life."

Led by captain Carly Blanton, several players made significant contributions, including freshman forwards Samantha Foley and Kiara Boone, sophomore center Lauren Jacobsen, and sophomore guards Astrice Michael and Caitlin Fitzpatrick. In All-Region 19 honors, Samantha Foley was named to the second team and Kiara Boone was selected to the third team. In All GSAC selections, Foley was named to the first team, while Boone and Lauren Jacobsen were selected for the second team.
Looking to next year, Tenaglia expects as many as six players to return. "That's a nice nucleus; we don't usually have that many." Tenaglia was assisted this season by Leslie Mauer and Tameka Turner.




Coach Tenaglia celebrates 300th win with players
after the Vikings' victory over Salem CC Jan. 31
Samantha Foley at the foul line.
Halftime strategy with Coach Tenaglia.
Vikings defend the basket.

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