Maroons, under new head coach, poised for opening weekend

Women’s basketball will open their 2013–14 season under a new head coach and assistant coach.

By David Gao

The Maroons will open their 2013–14 season under a new head coach and assistant coach.

Carissa Sain Knoche was officially named the head women’s basketball coach last spring after having been assistant coach for Chicago since 2008 and acting head coach for the year prior, replacing previous head coach Aaron Roussell, who led the Maroons for eight seasons. Coach Sain Knoche played varsity in the UAA for Carnegie from 2001–2005, where she left as the sixth-leading all-time scorer, then served as assistant coach for the Tartans for the next three years before arriving at Chicago.

Alex Young will also be joining the staff as an assistant coach after having captained the Boston University women’s basketball team and ranking ninth all-time in scoring for the BU Terriers.

After ending last year’s season with a 7–18 overall record and 3–11 in the UAA, Chicago is looking to begin the season strong, with three new members added to the team.

“I’m really excited for this season. It’s a new year and a new team, and we are all really looking forward to competing this year. I think the team has been working really hard, and hopefully this pays off in the games this weekend,” said third-year guard Morgan Donovan.

The South Siders will play their first game of the season at home in a tournament-style repertoire, which hosts multiple schools in the Iowa and Illinois area. Their first opponent will be the Rockford Regents (8–18, last season), who, like Chicago (7–18), are looking to improve upon their record from last year. Chicago will then follow up on Saturday. Depending on its result on Friday, Chicago will play the winner or loser of the IIT–Coe College game. The opponents will be very different from one another.

“IIT reinstated their program after having eliminated it several years ago, so they are brand new and unknown,” Sain Knoche said. “Coe College has been a tournament team over the last several years. They have a very good coach and are a formidable opponent.”

In preparation for the upcoming tournament, Chicago is focused on doing what it does best instead of tailoring practice to a specific environment.

“Our drills have focused primarily on capitalizing on our strengths rather than adjusting to fit another team’s style of play. Everything we do in practice is to improve specific skills and translate development to game situations,” said fourth-year guard Kate Casaday.

The Maroons will play their first game in the tournament against Rockford today at 7 p.m. at Ratner, followed by a Saturday game, the details of which will be determined after Friday’s IIT–Coe College game.