The Drexel women's basketball team will return to action this Friday evening as they open up their 2015-16 with a Preseason WNIT match-up against Dartmouth of the Ivy League. The winner of Friday's game will take on the winner of Jacksonville at South Florida in the winner's bracket of the tournament in a game that will be played on either November 15 or 16. The loser will drop into the consolation bracket, against an opponent and at a site to be determined after the completion of all first round games. The consolation bracket will feature four teams each at two different sites, with each first round loser guaranteed of two more games in the tournament. The semifinals of the tournament will be played on November 19 with the championship taking place on November 22.
Dartmouth finished last season at 14-14 overall with a 5-9 record in the Ivy League. The league's coaches voted the team sixth in this year's preseason poll. Princeton, the preseason favorite, is also ranked 25th in the country heading in to the season opener. Cross-street rival Penn was picked second. The Dragons and Quakers will match up at the Palestra in December a few hours before the men take on Penn State in the same building.
The Big Green return their two top players from a year ago in Fanni Szabo and Lakin Roland. Szabo, a junior forward, and Roland, a senior forward, were the only two players to average double figures in points last year. Szabo led Dartmouth with 16.3 ppg while Roland complemented her with 12.0. The next closest scorer had just 5.5 ppg. As is the case with many Ivy League teams, the Big Green feature a lot of height overall on their roster with eight players checking in at over 6' in height. By comparison, Drexel has just two (Schluth and freshman Kracikova).
In addition to their height, the Big Green's youth stands out as well. Dartmouth returns just four upperclassmen and has four freshman on their roster. The team's top returning guard is Katie Vareika who averaged just 4.6 ppg last season. As a whole, Dartmouth's returning guards averaged just 12.8 ppg last season.
Drexel, on the other hand, returns a plethora of scorers as we outlined in our season preview. Against Dartmouth, the Dragons should have a clear advantage on the offensive side of the ball, especially in the backcourt.
As mentioned earlier, Friday will mark the return of junior point guard Meghan Creighton and the debut of junior transfer Jessica Pellechio. We hope to see you out at the DAC in support of what will surely be one of the top Drexel basketball teams to hit the DAC floor in a long while. As a reminder, the men open up their season on Friday night at St. Joes. We'll have a preview of that one coming up later this week.