BUCKHANNON – West Virginia Wesleyan’s Vicky Bullett will begin her fourth season at the helm of the Lady Bobcat basketball program when her squad hits the court this weekend in the PSAC/MEC Challenge.
They will open the season Saturday against Mansfield University on Saturday at 5 p.m. and then Indiana (Pa.) University Sunday at 4 p.m.
Both games will be played at Indiana (Pa.).
The Lady Bobcats will look to improve on their 7-20 record from last season, but the team played well late advancing to the quarterfinals of the MEC post-season tournament.
Bullett’s expectations are simple ones for her 2019-20 team and that is simply get better with each game.
“My expectations have been set to focus on the process to improve throughout the season,” noted Bullett.
She will have to guide an inexperienced team at the beginning of the season as the Lady ‘Cats return just one returning player from last year’s starting roster in senior Nicole Gilyard. Gilyard averaged nine points per contest last season from her forward position and earned All-MEC Honorable Mention honors.
Also returning and looking to make bigger contributions to the team this season include junior guard Brittany Stawovy and the sixth man off the bench in sophomore forward Malaika Kimmons
Bullett had some bad luck to deal with during the pre-season as the team lost junior point guard Summer Matlack to a knee injury.
“We have to fill that spot with a freshman Imani Jackson,” remarked Bullett.
Despite a younger squad Bullett feels the team will have more depth this season.
“I have had to move some players to different positions,” she stated. And play the players that can be consistent, in which we did not have last season. I will have to teach a lot this season, considering we will have three freshman who have really excelled in the preseason. I know I have to be patient as my sophomores are slowly coming a lot to give us production off the bench.”
Just how young will the Lady Bobcats be this season?
Bullett expects to start three freshman this weekend.
“I will be starting three freshmen,” she remarked. “Jackson will be one, then former Fairmont Senior standout Courtney Wilfong and center Cierra Tolbert from Fishers (Ind.) High School.
As Bullett said, expectations will be getting better each game.
“I am working toward developing the skills of our players, and the mental attitude to be competitive each game and progress as the season moves forward. Our team goals are to continue to play good defense, team defense. We want to work toward holding teams under or at 60 points which will surely be a difficult task with all the returning experienced players from our top six teams in the conference. We will have to fight for each basket and defend with all of our players, so our bench factor is a necessity.”
The team will have their home opener next Saturday when they entertain Shippensburg at 2 p.m.