Senior Tori Faieta, a first team All-NE-10 pick last year, leads the Skyhawks returnees. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
The Skyhawks lost two key players in Mary Louise Dixon and Asia Ewing to graduation, but there is plenty of experience on the roster.
BY Jim Fenton
EASTON – The Stonehill College women's basketball team relied heavily on point guard Mary Louise Dixon in recent years.
She is the only player in program history to record at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists, finishing her career with 1,500 points, 604 rebounds and 574 assists.
After four seasons at Stonehill, Dixon is now playing for Durham College in London as a graduate student, and the Skyhawks will be playing without her in the lineup for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
To help fill the void left by Dixon, though, Stonehill has plenty of experience with three seniors and a junior in the starting lineup and returning players on the bench.
The Skyhawks, who were 19-10 and made it to the NCAA Division 2 tournament for the 22nd time last season, have reason for optimism even with the graduations of Dixon and Asia Ewing.
"I'm really excited about this team,'' said coach Trisha Brown, entering her 14th season. "This group is a fun group to coach. The work ethic is off the charts.
"The biggest plus is we have four seniors with great leadership skills and four starters with a lot of playing time.''
The Skyhawks open the season Friday night, hosting the Stonehill Tip-Off Classic at Merkert Gym.
They will face Dominican College at 5:30 p.m. with Assumption meeting Caldwell at 7:30. On Saturday, Stonehill takes on Caldwell at 1:30 p.m.
Senior captain Amy Pelletier earned All-NE-10 honors as a junior. (PHOTO BY Emily Reynolds)
Faieta, a who made the first team, averaged 13.3 points, 7.9 reboundsa and 2.3 blocked shots and is 46 points shy of 1,000.
"She is a great scorer and draws a lot of attention,'' said Brown. "She won't get a lot of 1-on-1 looks, so she has to create for others.''
Pelletier, who made the All-NE-10 third team, scored 13.3 points and made 43 percent from 3-point range. She needs 81 points for 1,000 in her career.
Junior Shannon Brown will miss the early part of the season with an injury after starting 13 games last season and averaging 7.8 points and four rebounds.
Stonehill is picked to finish second in the NE-10 Northeast Division behind defending national champion Bentley University. The Skyhawks went 14-7 in the conference and were eliminated by the Falcons.
Jim Fenton may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JFenton_ent.