Women’s basketball begins practice for 2011-12 season on Sunday
The JU women's basketball team kicks off practice for the new year on Sunday.
The JU women's basketball team kicks off practice for the new year on Sunday.
The JU women’s basketball team will start working towards the A-Sun Championship that continues to elude them on Sunday when the Dolphins open practice for the 2011-12 season in Swisher Gymnasium.

The Dolphins return 10 players from the 2010-11 team that posted a school-record 5-1 start en route to double-digit wins for the sixth straight season (15). They reached the A-Sun title game for the third time in the last four seasons, but fell to a hot-shooting Stetson squad.

JU also recorded the second highest points per game average all-time (64.0) behind the program record of 67.7 in 2007-08, while breaking the school mark in rebounds for the fifth straight season with 1,337 boards. The Dolphins finished third in the A-Sun in blocks with 125.

“We are excited to begin on Sunday” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “I’ve been very pleased with the work we have put in during our individual sessions. Now, it’s time to get together as a team and begin working towards winning a conference championship.”

The deepest group again for the Dolphins on the roster is the guards – comprising eight of the 14 spots.

Seniors Crystal Bell and Jessica George are two of the top returners in the back court.

As a junior, Bell led the team in steals with 55, which is tied for fifth highest single-season total all-time. She scored double-digits 13 times, reaching the 20-point barrier in three contests.

George tallied a career-best 17 points and 35 minutes in the A-Sun quarterfinals against UNF en route to earning all-tournament team honors.

Other returners include junior Maggie Wilson, sophomore Ronisha Mitchell, sophomore Ciara McLee and sophomore Abril Peeples. Freshman Britney Holliday will be added to the mix and will have to step in quickly to help fill the void left by senior Ashanti Williams who is sitting out the season with an injury.

A relatively young posts group will have to fill the big shoes left by Taneskei Richardson and Lynsey Paschal.

Richardson led the Dolphins in nearly every category last season en route to become the second JU player all-time to sign a pro contract. Paschal rounded out her career by finishing with the most games played all-time (124) and placing sixth in career rebounds (558).

Jade Cargill, Madison Scott and Jane’l Osborne all return for their second season with the Dolphins.

Cargill appeared in 27 games as a freshman, recording five blocks and scoring a season-high nine points against Belmont and USC Upstate, respectively. Scott finished her season with three blocks and five rebounds in the A-Sun title game against Stetson, while Osborne will look to see extended action this season after being limited to 17 games due to a shoulder injury.

The most experienced and versatile member for the Dolphins this season will come from its newest addition in local native Tracie Sneed.

Sneed transfers back home after playing the last two seasons at Santa Fe State College in Gainesville, Fla. She helped the Saints win conference titles in both seasons, a first in program history. Sneed was a four-year starter locally for Andrew Jackson High School, earning all-state and all-conference accolades each season.

Freshmen Chelsea Faulhaber and BreAnn Davis will also look to help out the post area their first season.

Faulhaber, the second tallest player on the team at 6-foot-2, comes to JU after breaking the Spartanburg (S.C.) High School record for blocks in a game, season and career. Davis posted 12.9 points and eight rebounds per contest in her senior season at Foundation Academy in Orlando, Fla.

JU starts the 2011-12 campaign with an exhibition game against USC Aiken (Nov. 5) at Swisher Gymnasium. The Dolphins will open the regular season for the third straight year on the road by playing at FIU in Miami on Nov. 11.