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Tampa Spartans women's basketball season preview at a glance

Women

Coach: Tom Jessee (Eighth season, 148-64)

Last season: 26-6 (12-4 SSC, regular season and conference tournament champions); lost in NCAA South region semifinals

Notable: The Spartans are coming off their best season ever, and loftier expectations follow. UT is ranked in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Division II coaches poll for the first time, at No. 22. The Spartans return four starters, including all-conference picks Gianna Messina (13.3 points per game) and Tiara Cook (12.3 ppg). Messina, a Holy Names alum, and Kaitlyn Mitryk, the team's top blocker, are transfers from USF. Jessee has won three SSC tournament titles and has taken UT to five NCAA Tournaments including the past four.

Roster (No. player, ht., pos., yr)

2 Catriana Messina, 5-5, G, Jr.

3 Tristan Weiner, 5-6, G, Fr.

5 Gianna Messina, 5-6, G, Jr.

12 Caitlyn Mitryk, 6-1, G/F, Sr.

14 Laina Sylestine, 5-9, G, So.

20 Angela Guiu, 5-6, G, Sr.

22 Sarah Wickham, 5-7, G, So.

23 Brittany Brown, 5-11, F, So.

24 Tiara Cook, 6-0, F, Sr.

30 Kristina Carruth, 6-3, C, So.

32 Kamari Smith, 5-7, G, Fr.

40 Taja Green, 5-11, F, Jr.

42 Alli Corbett, 5-11, G/F, Fr.

Schedule: Nov. 17 — at Palm Beach Atlantic; Nov. 20 — East Stroudsburg (Merrimack Tournament); Nov. 21 — TBA (Merrimack Tournament); Nov. 25 — Valdosta State; Nov. 28 — Warner; Dec. 1 — Florida Memorial; Dec. 5 — at Florida Tech; Dec. 9 — Palm Beach Atlantic; Dec. 12 — at Florida Memorial; Dec. 18 — at Armstrong Atlantic State (AASU Tournament); Dec. 19 — Columbus State (AASU Tournament); Dec. 29 — Maryville; Jan. 2 — Nova Southeastern; Jan. 6 — Saint Leo; Jan. 9 — at Lynn; Jan. 13 — at Eckerd; Jan. 16 — Rollins; Jan. 20 — at Florida Southern; Jan. 23 — Barry; Jan. 30 — Florida Tech; Feb. 3 — at Nova Southeastern; Feb. 6 — Lynn; Feb. 10 — at Saint Leo; Feb. 13 — at Rollins; Feb. 17 — Eckerd; Feb. 20 — at Barry; Feb. 24 — Florida Southern; March 3-8: SSC Tournament

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Tampa Spartans women's basketball season preview at a glance 11/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 7, 2009 7:58pm]
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