Women's Basketball Makes Waves In Second Season

March 22, 2001

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Going into its second season of play, the JU women's basketball team set goals to make some waves in the Trans America Athletic Conference.

By season's end, the Dolphins had more than doubled their win total from a year ago, surprised people around the league with a fourth-place finish and had a player earn first-team all-conference honors.

"We had three goals at the beginning of the season," head coach Melissa Taketa said. "We wanted to earn a bye in the first round of the conference tournament, finish in the top half of the league, and to be able to say that when the season was done that we made a statement that we are a program to be taken seriously in the conference."

The Dolphins accomplished each goal, finishing the season 13-15, including a fourth-place finish in the TAAC with a 9-9 mark in league play. After earning a first-round bye in the conference tournament, JU gave Troy State all it could handle in the quarterfinals before falling, 69-60.

After struggling early on, things came together for JU in the middle of the season and the Dolphins earned nine victories in a 10-game stretch, including six in a row from Jan. 18 through Feb. 8. That run helped propel the Dolphins into a fourth-place regular-season finish in the TAAC.

Sophomore post player Kat Sungy, who led the team in scoring (11.0 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg), became the first Dolphin player to earn first-team All-TAAC honors after leading the league in rebounding. Sungy started every game for JU in 2000-01, setting numerous team records including rebounds in a season (264) and rebounds in a game (18, on two occasions).

In addition to their success on the court, the Dolphins were even more of a hit in the classroom as six players earned Academic All-TAAC honors. Sophomore post player Milica Miljkovic led the club with a perfect 4.0 grade point average while seniors Camealia Rush and Shannon Wynn, junior Lana Labura and sophomores Lexie Richards and Sungy joined her on the academic honor roll. In two seasons under Taketa, 13 Dolphin players have earned Academic All-Conference honors.

And while Taketa is proud of what her team has accomplished in its first two seasons, she has her sights firmly fixed on what looks to be a bright future for JU women's basketball.

"Every year, we will have new challenges and new opportunities," Taketa said. "We now know how to win and what it takes to win. We just have to continue to improve and maintain our strong work ethic year round."