Miami women lose historic seniors, but will return plenty of talent


If the Miami University women’s basketball season didn’t quite live up to the RedHawks’ expectations, it would be incorrect to call it disappointing.

The injury-plagued squad went 19-13 and reached the WNIT for the second straight year, ending the campaign with a 73-60 defeat at Illinois.

“Nineteen wins and getting to a postseason tournament is a positive year,” 15th-year MU coach Maria Fantanarosa said. “I think when you realize that less than 50 percent of the teams nationally had winning records and only 144 teams get to the postseason, leaving 201 out, you’re way ahead of the curve.

“Are our goals higher? Yes. I think it’s hard for me to find a balance in how good of a season it was because we constantly strive for more.”

Miami was picked to win the Mid-American Conference East Division, but ended up in third place. The conference turned out to be better than anticipated, sending a record six teams to the postseason.

It’s the end of the collegiate road for the RedHawks’ two seniors, guard Courtney Osborn and forward Kirsten Olowinski. Osborn is the top scorer (2,166 points) and Olowinski is the No. 1 rebounder (1,154 boards) in school history.

“We’re a little bit in denial that we lose Courtney and Kirsten,” Fantanarosa said. “You don’t want to make the transition too quickly, but it’s our nature to refocus. Will I take a lot of time to reflect on how good or bad the season was? Not much longer. Our first team meeting is (Wednesday).”

Hannah and Haley Robertson, Kristin Judson, Erica Almady and Kelsey Simon will be seniors next year, Courtney Larson will be the lone junior, Hannah McCue, Maddie McCallie and Jessica Rupright will be sophomores, and Tamira Ford will be a redshirt freshman.

Fantanarosa believes Rupright, a 6-foot-2 center and former Indiana Miss Basketball, could have a breakout year in 2013-14. She averaged 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game this season.

Look for the three incoming freshmen — guard Jillian Spurlock of Hamilton, forward Nicole Anderson of Terre Haute, Ind., and point guard Rachel Goddard of Wadsworth — to compete for playing time right away. Spurlock and Anderson have signed, while Goddard has made a verbal commitment.

“I’m optimistic. I think we have a lot of pieces,” Fantanarosa said. “We’re going to be under the radar, but I think it’s going to be a year where we’re going to develop, and that’s going to change who we are every month. I’m OK with being the underdog because I don’t think we’re that far behind any of the other teams in the MAC.

“Our players should feel confident and feel like we’re going to contend again. It’s just going to look different. It’s not going to look like Courtney and Kirsten. It’s going to look like Miami.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Dragons drubbed, but Siri extends hit streak to 28 games

By John Cummings Contributing Writer Somewhere, a switch was flipped on the Dayton Dragons and manager Luis Bolivar is trying to switch it back. The Dragons, who had five of their last seven games decided by two runs or less, were banged out of Fifth Third Field for the second consecutive night Saturday, 8-2 by Burlington. Dayton lost 8-1 to Peoria...
Reds notes: Scuffling Votto not ready to rest
Reds notes: Scuffling Votto not ready to rest

Much was made of New York Yankees phenom Aaron Judge going eight games without hitting a home run before he almost launched one out of Seattle Safeco Field on Friday. Many were wondering if participating in the Home Run Derby might have sapped some of Judge’s stamina. Other sluggers have gone through similar struggles, most notably Todd Frazier...
Tom Archdeacon: Still treasuring Barcelona 25 years after Olympics
Tom Archdeacon: Still treasuring Barcelona 25 years after Olympics

LaVonna Martin-Floreal ended up with two keepsakes from the Barcelona Olympics. One was her silver medal. The other? Her husband. This coming Tuesday marks 25 years since the Olympic Games opened in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. While LaVonna said she hadn’t realized the anniversary was right around the corner, she wasn’t surprised. &ldquo...
Hartsock: Gilkison expands lead in Dayton Metro golf tournament
Hartsock: Gilkison expands lead in Dayton Metro golf tournament

He knows what it’s like to come from behind to win the Dayton Metropolitan Championship, now Josh Gilkison is on the other side. The defending champion took a six-shot lead into Sunday’s final round at Heatherwoode Golf Club in Springboro. He trailed by six shots a year ago before rallying to force a playoff with Adam Armstrong, he won...
Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service
Ole Miss football coach made phone call to number tied to escort service

University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze announced his resignation Thursday night after school officials cited personal conduct issues that included a one-minute telephone call to a number associated with a female escort service, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news The phone call was raised as a potential issue in a legal...
More Stories