Women's Basketball begins practice on Friday

Oct. 12, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After making a tremendous step in her second season with the JU women's basketball program, head coach Jill Dunn will plot a course for unknown territory as the Dolphins begin practice on Friday at 7 p.m. in Swisher Gymnasium.

After finishing 6-21 in her first season with the program, Dunn led the Dolphins to a 10-18 record and a 7-13 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference play in 2005-06. The overall mark was only the second time a JU squad reached double-digit wins (13 in 2000-01) and the Dolphins reached the A- Sun Tournament for the first time since 20001. With the success late last season, the Dolphins were voted to finish fifth in the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.

"We are excited to get started," said Dunn. "The players have been working hard to get into shape and improve their individual games. Now it is time for us to come together as a team and prepare for the upcoming season."

Belmont, who received seven first- place votes, was selected to finish first in the poll with 97 points. Gardner-Webb, received three first- place votes and tabbed as the tournament champions, was predicted to finish second with 90 points. East Tennessee State (72), Campbell (65) and JU (55) rounded out the top five while Mercer (54), Stetson (39), Lipscomb (36), North Florida (27) and Kennesaw State (15) made up the rest of the poll.

"At this point, we feel like being picked fifth is a fair assessment," said Dunn. "How we finish at the end will be the true test. Our goal is to be in the top three in the conference and win the conference tournament."

Leading the Dolphins in the upcoming season will be first-team all-conference forward Ashley Williams. Williams, who was named to the preseason all-conference squad, set the JU single-season scoring record with 478 points after transferring from North Florida Community College. Also returning to form the core of the Dolphin squad will be senior guard Jenaire Davis, sophomore guards Regina Omoite and DaVina Hamilton along with sophomore forwards Virginia Gregoire and Kelly Ford.

"We are excited for Ashley and this is great recognition based on her production from last year," Dunn said. "We hope she will have the same success this year and be able to lead our team to a championship."

Williams joins sophomore forward and preseason "Player of the Year" Alysha Clark (Belmont), senior guard Sarah Russell (Mercer), senior forward Adrienne Rieley (Campbell) and senior forward Shameka Smith (Gardner-Webb) on the all- conference team.

The Dolphins open the season with an exhibition contest at Swisher Gymnasium against Flagler on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.