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Preview: Women's Basketball Season 2013-14

West Windsor, N.J. – According to Head Coach Mike Tenaglia, the Vikings women’s basketball team has the talent and height to significantly improve upon last year’s disappointing 5-21 season.  In fact, he and his players are setting their sights on advancing to the Region 19 Tournament. 

Coach Tenagalia will look to two freshmen to use their height to anchor the team: 6’2” Chioma Okoro (Brooklyn, NY) and 5’10” Brandi Grimes (Lawrence, NJ/Lawrence High School). Another exciting addition to the roster is sophomore transfer student Monaee Fields (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central), who can play both guard and forward positions and averaged 20 points per game last year at Passaic County College.

Tenaglia is also counting on his experienced sophomores, 5’10” forward Erin Sobkowiak (East Windsor, NJ/ Hightstown), who has worked hard to step up her game.  The Vikings also return All Garden State Conference Second Team guard Morgan Cullen (Bristol, PA/Bristol), along with guard Heather Gurdon (Perrineville, NJ/Allentown), who missed last season with an ACL injury.  Other returners include guards Jackie Laurenti (Chesterfield, NJ/Northern Burlington) and Taylor Wright (Yardville, NJ/Steinert).

Rounding out the roster are freshmen guards Kaitlyn Wolfsgruber (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert), who adds a three-point threat to the lineup, and Taylor Cullen (Bristol, PA/Bristol).  Freshman swing player Elizabeth Harrison (Bordentown, NJ/Life Center Academy) and freshman guard Cai-Cai Hahn (West Windsor, NJ/West Windsor South) are also expected to contribute valuable minutes.

Currently 3-1, the Vikings opened the season with a 77-62 loss on the road against Lackawanna, but have rebounded with three key wins – a 61-38 drubbing of Raritan Valley on Nov. 21, a 74-42 rout over Del Tech Stanton on Nov. 23, and a solid 56-45 victory over Burlington on Nov. 26.

Coach Tenaglia believes the Vikings will be competitive in most of their Region 19 games.   “If the girls continue to work hard, believe in each other and play as a team, we should be in the thick of things at tournament time.  That’s our goal and we will stay focused on it,” he said.

The Vikings will host the annual Mercer Mixer over Thanksgiving weekend.  The Lady Vikes play Cumberland at 2 p.m. on Friday and Brookdale at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Coach Tenaglia is assisted this season by Jane Berlinger and Sam Cobbs.

See the team's full schedule here.

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The women's basketball team, front row from left, Cai-Cai Hahn, Kaitlyn Wolfsgruber, Heather Gurdon, Morgan Cullen, Jackie Laurenti and Taylor Cullen; back row from left, Head Coach Mike Tenaglia, Elizabeth Harrison, Brandi Grimes, Chioma Okoro, Erin Sobkowiak, Monaee Fields, Taylor Wright, and Assistant Coaches Samantha Cobbs and Jane Berlinger.
Warming up before their game against Raritan on Nov. 21.
Teamwork will be key as the Vikings set their sights on returning to the Region 19 tournament this year.