NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Following one of the best seasons in over a decade, The College of New Rochelle Basketball team will rely on three key returning veterans to team with nine newcomers as the Blue Angels look to defend their Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Conference (HVIAC) Championship crown in the 2014-15 season. However, after losing five players to graduation and only three of its 10 letter winners from last year returning, the Blue Angels will have to rebuild quickly.
AD3I Player of the Year Jah-Leah Ellis returns for her final year on the court for the Blue Angels. Ellis led the team in rebounds and blocks last season and finished second on the team in points averaging 20.0 per game. Classmate Alyssa Pechin also played well last year for the Blue Angels averaging 11.5 points and 4.0 assists per game. Ellis and Pechin will need to lead the offense and look to their newcomers to make immediate impacts.
Pechin will once again control the back court after leading the conference in assists last season. She also ranked second in the conference with 59 steals. Junior Ja’Nasha King returns to join Pechin in an experienced backcourt. King started almost every game for the Blue Angels averaging 4.1 points per game and totaling 65 rebounds and 64 assists. Ellis returns as the primary component in the front court for the Blue Angels on a roster with very few post players. Ellis will be looked at to replicate her Player of the Year season as she compiled 19 double-doubles last season and ranked among the NCAA DIII leaders in rebounds and double-doubles.
Seven newcomers will accompany Pechin and King to help provide depth in the front court for the Blue Angels. Two additional freshmen will assist Ellis in holding down the front court. The rookies bring a lot to the table with previous championships and personal accolades, looking to make immediate impacts in their first year on the court.
The Blue Angels will open their season this weekend as they travel to Baltimore, Maryland for the Women’s College Tip-Off Tournament hosted by Notre Dame of Maryland University. They will first tip off against Cedar Crest College at 3:00pm on Saturday and face either the host Gators or the Owls of Bryn Mawr on Sunday to close out the weekend.
The HVIAC Tournament will be held at Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, NY with the semifinals on Saturday February 21 followed by the championship game Sunday February 22 at 4:00pm.