The Central Connecticut women's basketball team officially opened preseason practice on Tuesday night at Detrick Gym. Head coach Beryl Piper enters her sixth season at the helm of the women's basketball program with all of her starters returning, including seniors Jaclyn Babe and Kirsten Daamen.
"Going into last year, we had graduated all of our starters and we were very young, but we still felt good about what we were going to do for the year," Piper said. "This year we have our key players back. Obviously, our expectations are high, but we are going to take it day-by-day. What we did tonight is a stepping-stone to the next day and the day after that. Our goal is to get better every day."
Jaclyn Babe was the Blue Devils' leading scorer and a second team All-Northeast Conference selection last year. She averaged 15.9 points and 35.8 minutes per game in her first season playing for the Blue Devils after transferring from Duquesne.
Daamen averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for CCSU last season. She blocked 70 shots last year and currently ranks as the Blue Devils' career leader in blocks. During the summer of 2012, Daamen played internationally with the Dutch Women's National Team.
Jaclyn Babe and Daamen will anchor a line up that will feature an experienced group of returning players. Senior Brooke Bailey, juniors Jessica Babe and Lauren Arbogast, and sophomore Kaley Watras complete the returning group of starters.
Last season, the Blue Devils finished with a 13-16 record and just missed reaching the NEC Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.
The Blue Devils will play a challenging schedule in 2012-13. CCSU's non-conference schedule is highlighted by trips to Texas and the University of Miami.
The season will begin on the road at Rhode Island on Friday, November 9.