Women's basketball opens regular season against Georgia Southern on Friday

Nov. 8, 2007


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After going 2-0 in its exhibition schedule, the JU women's basketball team will open the 2007-08 regular season against Georgia Southern on Friday at 7 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU head coach Jill Dunn will face her alma mater for the second time as the Dolphins fell to the Eagles, 76- 69, last season in the first meeting between the two programs. Dunn was a four-year letterwinnner as a guard for the Eagles from 1989-93 and was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 3, 2006.

The contest can be seen live on as part of ASun.TV.

Head coach Jill Dunn
Jill Dunn is in her fourth season as head coach of the Jacksonville University women's basketball program.

Prior to JU, Dunn spent three years helping Georgia State to three consecutive A-Sun Conference titles from 2001-04. Before joining Georgia State, Dunn was the top assistant coach at Miami University (Ohio), during the 2000-01 season.

Prior to her one-year stint in Ohio, Dunn served as the head coach at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., from 1998-00. In her final season with the program, the Lady Catamounts posted 12 wins which was the most in 15 seasons at WCU.

Before being elevated to the head spot at Western Carolina, she was the top assistant coach during the 1997-98 campaign. Dunn's coaching career began at the University of South Carolina, where she was as an assistant coach from 1994-97.

Dunn's success began as a player at Georgia Southern, where she was a three-year starter from 1989-93. She was named to the Georgia Southern Hall of Fame on Nov. 4.­

Dolphins open with two exhibition wins
Sophomore guard Courtney Jackson finished with a game-high 19 points while three other Dolphins finished with double figure points to lead JU to a 75-57 win over St. Leo, on Nov. 2 at Swisher Gymnasium. On Nov. 4, senior forward Ashley Williams tallied 18 points while two other Dolphins finished in double figures to lead the Dolphins to a 70-64 win over Tampa, at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU earns sixth-best turnaround
What a difference a year makes, or for the Dolphins, three years under the guidance of head coach Jill Dunn.

After a program-record season, that featured a 21-9 overall record, JU tied for sixth in the nation for greatest turnaround (11 games) from the previous year. JU went 10-18 in 2005-06 to record only the second double-digit win total in program history (eight seasons). The squad went 6-21 in Dunn's first season with the program, which has seen an average improvement of 6.8 wins per season.

The Dolphins turnaround was sparked in part by a school-best 13-1 record at home - including a program-best 10-game winning streak which is still in tact.

New faces
JU will feature four new faces on the squad in 2007-08 with the addition of freshmen - guard Shunice Hardy (Stephenson HS), guard Cameo Kent (Jensen Beach HS), forward Lynsey Paschal (Sandy Creek HS) and center Gabby Sermons (Open Bible HS).

New standards at home
The Dolphins have raised the bar when it comes to playing at home by setting a new program record in 2006-07 with 13 wins. JU surpassed the previous mark of seven victories, which was set by the squad in 2005-06.

JU is also in the midst of a 10-game home winning streak which began with a 57-53 win over Florida A&M on Dec. 30, 2006.

Included in the accomplishment was a 2-0 record at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Williams named A-Sun preseason MVP
Senior forward Ashley Williams became the first player in program history to be named preseason MVP after surpassing her own single- season record with 509 points last season. She also became the first Dolphin to earn consecutive first team all-conference honors after tying for the conference lead with an average of 17 points per contest.

Williams is also 13 points shy of joining forward Kat Sungy (1999-03), forward Yolisha Jackson (2000-05) and guard Sheena Carpenter (2003-06) as the only Dolphins to hit 1,000 points in their careers. She is also 197 points shy of surpassing Sungy (1,183) on the all-time point leader list. But first, she needs 29 to pass Carpenter (1,015) and 84 to move past Jackson (1,070).

Gregoire named all-preseason
Junior guard Virginia Gregoire, who also earned first team all-Atlantic Sun Conference honors last season, received her first preseason accolades after ranking third in the conference with 14.6 points per game in 2006-07.

The versatile playmaker also notched conference tournament honors to cap off her break out season.

New face on the sidelines
Along with four new members of the squad, DeUnna Hendrix will join the Dolphin coaching staff as a graduate assistant after completing a stellar career at Richmond.

In four years with the Spiders, Hendrix was a team captain as a junior and senior while also leading the squad to a pair of 20- win seasons in 2004 and 2005. The Spiders also reached the WNIT Final Four in 2004 and earned a bid into the NCAA Tournament in 2005. She appeared in 104 games in her career with 56 starts, including 45 in her final two seasons with the program. A native of Kokomo, Ind., Hendrix earned her bachelor's degree in rhetoric and communications in May of 2007.

Among her other experience, Hendrix was an Assistant Camp Director for the Richmond Summer Basketball Camp in 2006 and was also a camp counselor for the event in 2004 and