CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte women's basketball team will
begin its pursuit of an 11th-straight postseason appearance when it
officially tips off practice at 1:30 p.m. Monday under the leadership of second-year
head coach Cara Consuegra.
"We're really excited and are coming off what we feel was a great preseason," Consuegra said. "I'm ready to get on the court with them starting Monday.
"It's going to be important for us to stay on task and on time until the first exhibition. We have to balance teaching and letting them play. We want to get up and down the court but also give our team some lee-way in creativity in order to make a play but we're excited to get going."
All five starters and nine letterwinners return from last year's 16-14 squad that reached the WNIT, extending the school record streak to 10-straight postseason appearances. Consuegra's initial team finished sixth in the Atlantic 10 with an 8-6 ledger and will be looking to improve upon that in its final campaign in the conference this season.
Two of the three all-conference performers are back in the fold for another year. Jennifer Hailey, the team's leading scorer with 13.7 points per game, will step onto the floor again in the green and white as one of three seniors. She also shared the top rebounding average among the 49ers with Amanda Dowe at 9.3 per game to earn All-Atlantic 10 second team and All-Atlantic 10 Defensive team accolades.
Hillary Sigmon picked up All-Atlantic 10 Rookie team honors last winter following her freshman campaign in which she averaged 7.6 points.
Joining Hailey as seniors this season will be Dowe and Jai Forney. Forney is the team's second-leading returning scorer with 8.0 points per game, equaling the output of Gabby Tyler.
Four freshmen enter the program this year, including a trio hailing from the Atlanta metro area. Becoming 49ers for the first time will be Alexis Alexander, Tori Carter, Kira Gordon and Shequana Harris.
A new face will be on the bench with Consuegra and her staff. Joanne Aluka-White became an assistant coach over the summer after spending six years at FIU and graduating from Middle Tennessee.
Charlotte will open the 2012-13 campaign with an exhibition contest against Johnson C. Smith at 7 p.m. November 3 before beginning its regular season a week later, at 6 p.m. November 10, against North Carolina Central, also in Halton Arena.
Stay tuned to Charlotte49ers.com for weekly preseason updates on the players, coaches and program.
Season tickets are on-sale now starting at $30 and are available by calling 704-687-4949 or visiting the "Tickets" menu option at Charlotte49ers.com.