Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 27, 2009

Lady Cardinals will start season fifth nationally

Special to the Review

The Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals will open the 2009-10 season with a lofty national ranking. TVCC is No. 5 in the NJCAA Preseason Women’s Top 30 Poll released today.

The Lady Cardinals are ranked behind defending national champion Central Arizona, Jefferson College, Chipola College and Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Central Arizona was 25-0 last year and Jefferson College 34-1, the lone loss to Central Arizona in the national title game.

TVCC finished seventh at the national tournament last year in its 14th appearance at the event, going 28-8, but return no players from that squad.

The Lady Cardinals, who have been picked to win a ninth straight Region XIV Conference championship, will be taking the floor with Bill Damuth at the coaching helm. Damuth, an assistant at the college for eight seasons, is taking over after the nine-year tenure of Michael Landers.

Damuth will rely heavily on sophomore transfers Gloria Brown (North Carolina State) and Michelle White (Barton County Community College) while his freshman-laden team learns the ropes. Brown brings a 12.0 scoring and 12.0 rebounding average with her and White averaged 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals last season.

Another sophomore transfer, Darriel Gaynor (Oregon State), was also expected to play a key role, but has been lost to a knee injury.

The Lady Cardinals are scheduled to open the season Wednesday, Nov. 4, in Hillsboro against Hill College. Their home opener is Friday, Nov. 6, against Neosho Community College at 7 p.m. The Lady Cardinals are scheduled to play ninth-ranked NE Oklahoma A&M; College at home on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m.

Here are the Top 10 teams with 2008-09 season records in parenthesis:

1. Central Arizona College (35-0)

2. Jefferson College (34-1)

3. Chipola College (30-6)

4. Copiah-Lincoln Community College (26-4)

5. Trinity Valley Community College (28-8)

6. Midland College (30-2)

7. Gulf Coast Community College (27-3)

8. College of Southern Idaho (26-5)

9. NE Oklahoma A&M; College (23-8)

10. Hutchinson Community College (31-6)