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Owens Women's Basketball Hosts Kirtland Community College In Season Opener, Nov. 10
Owens Community College women's basketball will open its 2003-04 season against Kirtland Community College at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 10.
All home games are played at the College's Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC) on the Toledo-area Campus, which is located on Oregon Road, four miles from Downtown Toledo. Admission to home games is free.
The Express women's basketball program is led by Interim Head Coach Matt Godfrey of Brownstown, Michigan. Coach Godfrey replaces Mark Henry, Head Coach from 2001-03, who died in a car accident during the summer. He joins the College with over 13 years of coaching experience at various levels. Since 2000, he has served as the varsity assistant girls basketball coach for Grosse Ile High School in Grosse Ile, Michigan. While at the school, Godfrey was a member of three Huron League and District championship teams.
His coaching experience also included serving as the head coach for women's basketball at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan, from 1997-2002. During Godfrey's tenure, he amassed an overall record of 81-63 and captured the 1997-98 Michigan Community College Athletic Association conference championship. In addition, he served as an assistant coach at Henry Ford for two years. His Owens Assistant Coach is Emily Kirian of Rossford, a former Express basketball player (1996-98).
The Express completed last season with a 25-11 overall record and tied for third place with a 9-5 mark in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season standings. The team made its third trip to the NJCAA Division II National Championships, finishing sixth in the tournament. In addition, Owens was ranked as high as No. 5 nationally in the NJCAA Division II Women's Basketball regular season poll.
"We have a great group of student-athletes on this year's basketball squad," Godfrey said. "Each team member is very unselfish and willing to do whatever it takes for us to have another winning season."
Godfrey added, "Our program has a very experienced group of players returning from a team which advanced to the National Championship Tournament. Their veteran leadership will play an important role in how our season unfolds. This team has a great opportunity to once again compete for an OCCAC Championship and advance to the NJCAA nationals. The only way we can achieve our goals is by playing each game one at a time."
The Express have five returning players from last year's team, including OCCAC Honorable Mention All-Conference selection Stacey Weiland of Pemberville (Eastwood High School). In 2002-03, the sophomore guard averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals in 36 games. In addition, her postseason honors included being named OCCAC Academic All-Conference.
Owens also returns NJCAA Division II Academic All-American Laura Wilson of Fremont (Fremont Ross High School). The sophomore guard played in 36 games and averaged 9.4 points, 3 assists, 3 steals and 4 rebounds in 2002-03. An OCCAC Academic All-Conference and All-Tournament Team selection, Wilson was one of only 27 student-athletes nationally to be nominated by the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) as Scholar Athlete of the Year.
The other three returning student-athletes are Jodelynn Stiriz of Wauseon (Wauseon High School), Shannon Kubicek of Toledo (Maumee High School) and Rachel Dedrick of St. Mary's (St. Mary's Memorial High School). Stiriz, a sophomore forward, played in 15 games and averaged 3 points, 2 rebounds and 1 steal. Last season, Kubicek was selected as the team's Most Improved Player and played in 36 games. The sophomore center averaged 8 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block. In 2001-02, Dedrick, a sophomore guard, averaged 10.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 44 games.
First-year players to the Express women's basketball program are Sarah Johnson of Sylvania, forward (Northview High School); Lauren Strong of Grosse Ile, Michigan, guard (Grosse Ile High School); Katie McClure of Liberty Center, guard (Liberty Center High School); Heather Peer of Ypsilanti, Michigan, guard (Huron High School); Catina Stubleski of Lambertville, Michigan, guard (Bedford High School); Caroline Eboumbou of Paris, France, forward (Lycée Jean Zay High School); Sarah Morgart of Wayne, forward (Elmwood High School); Sammantha Schneider of Fremont, forward (Fremont Ross High School); Sarah Moore of Taylor, Michigan, forward (Truman High School), and Niccole Brown of Toledo, forward (Central Catholic High School).
Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 26 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 40,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor 's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.