University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

2006-07 Season Preview

ATH04_COA_001_gault_jodi_T2006-07 Lady Cat Basketball Season Preview
    
The 2006-07 Lady Cat Basketball team is facing a very challenging schedule.  In fact, Head Coach Jodi Gault says it will be the most difficult season in her 25 years of coaching.  Despite posting a 20-7 record last season, the Lady Cats came up just short of earning an NCAA Tournament bid.  Finishing in the top ten in the East Region was still quite an accomplishment, but this season will be much more difficult.

     The Pitt Johnstown program is currently ranked second nationally in win/loss percentage at .794.  The Lady Cat program received another honor when CBSA (College Bound Student Athlete) showed the Lady Cats had the 18th best won/lost record among Division II women’s basketball programs in the nation over the last eight years (167-55 -.752).  Coach Gault enters the 2006-07 season with 519 victories.  These 519 wins rank her sixth in victories and seventh in winning percentage among active women’s Division II coaches.
     Entering the season, Coach Gault knows the Lady Cats must take on the difficult schedule without Women’s Division II Bulletin Honorable Mention All-American Samantha Conner (Everett, Pa), who was lost to graduation.  Conner averaged 15 points and became the 28th Lady Cat to reach the 1,000-point milestone.  She broke Lindsay Baker’s  (1998-02) school record for Career Free-Throw Percentage by shooting a remarkable 85.8% over her four years.  Also lost to graduation was guard Jaclyn Schirf (Loretto, Pa.), a two year starter, a two-year team captain and a true leader on the floor.  Forward Shannon Reigh (Williamsburg, Pa.), a computer science major and red shirt senior, decided to forego her senior season to take a job as a software engineer with Raytheon Corporation in State College, Pa.  These three Lady Cats helped lead the team to four 20-win seasons and a pair of trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.  Not only did the Lady Cats lose these three veterans, but sophomore point guard Crystal Andrews (Johnstown, Pa.) left the team last spring.  Her departure has left the Lady Cats inexperienced at the point guard position. 
      Coach Gault will look for this year’s four seniors to fill the void.  Jessica Zapf (Pittsburgh, Pa.), the team’s leading rebounder from last season (8.7 rpg.), will be looked upon to be a force in the post. Zapf also averaged 14.4 points per game and was named Second Team All-Independent last season.  She was recently tabbed a Pre-Season Honorable Mention All-American by Women’s Division II Bulletin.  Not only is she successful on the court, but Zapf excels in the classroom as well.  She was named 2005-06 Third Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District II, with a 3.85 overall GPA.  Zapf is 194 points away from the 1000-point plateau.  Senior guard Allison Krischer (Johnstown, Pa.) will be expected to fill the void at the point guard position.  Krischer averaged 11.3 points per game and broke Shelley Helsel and Crystal Barr’s school record for three pointers in a game with nine last season.  Krischer, who has played in every game in her career, must be able to run the Lady Cat System and increase her scoring numbers from a year ago.  Her competitive instincts and her leadership are going to be counted on heavily this season. 
     Seniors Jami Oaks (South Fork, Pa.) and Chelsea McKinney (St. Petersburg, Pa.) will be vying for starting positions.  Oaks, who started a few games last season, mostly came off the bench and performed well in big games.  Her experience last season should help her in being a major contributor this year.  McKinney, who has played sparingly, has had a good off-season.  She is the best conditioned Lady Cat, so she will be looked upon to take over Schirf’s responsibility on the defensive end of the court by challenging the opponent’s best offensive guard. 
     Red-shirt junior Sarah Priest (Johnstown, Pa.) and junior Jill Maurer (Johnstown, Pa.) must make contributions at both ends of the floor.  Both should see considerable playing time with hard work. 
     Sophomore Lindsay Cale (Hummelstown, Pa.) could be an exciting player when she gains the confidence needed to run the Lady Cat system.  She saw action in 19 games last season and showed great signs of promise.  Sophomore Kristin Irwin (Bellefonte, Pa.) will be in dual positions this season, playing both the power and small forward positions.  Coach Gault likes her size and ability in the paint.  Red-shirt sophomore Krista Britcher (Johnstown, Pa.), who is also vying for a starting position, has improved her game and is expected to contribute in the post.  Sophomore Lindsey McCombie (Nicktown, Pa.) will give the Lady Cats a spark with her hustling play and her ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court. 
     Rounding out the team is junior Chasity Ingram (Johnstown, Pa.), a transfer student-athlete from Pitt Titusville, whose athletic ability will be a great asset once she learns the system.  Red-shirt freshman Jessica Mock (Johnstown, Pa.), provides the team added depth in the paint, while freshman Chrissy Forster (Lewisberry, Pa.) has impressed Coach Gault with her knowledge of the game and her willingness to learn. Coach Gault will red-shirt Qiuana Brown (Monroeville, Pa.).  Her athleticism is tailor-made for the Lady Cat system. 
     Coach Gault again will be assisted by Deb Yesenosky (18th season)Samantha Conner and Jaclyn Schirf will also join the coaching ranks this year while they are completing their degrees.
     The Lady Cats open the season on November 17 at the Kutztown University Tournament against preseason #7-ranked Glenville State (WV) College.
Last Reviewed: November 8, 2006