Whitworth finished last season with a loss to BR-15 Puget Sound in the Northwest Conference tournament semifinal – Missed the NCAA Tournament.
Head Coach: Helen Higgs (22nd Season at Whitworth)
2014-15 Finish: 21-5
2014-15 Conference Finish: 12-4 (3rd Place in the NWC)
Projected Conference Finish: 4th
Key Stat: 9 – the number of freshmen on the Whitworth roster.
*F – KC McConnell – Senior
P – Faith Emerson – Senior
G – Alexis McLeod – Senior
F – Callie Harwood – Sophomore
From the Source (Whitworth Athletics)
Which players will log significant minutes for your team this year? If you already know the starting five, can you share that with us?
“Whitworth just missed an at-large bid to the NCAA Div. III tournament in 2014-15, which would have been its third straight appearance. The Pirates return their best player from that team – senior forward KC McConnell. She averaged 16.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, earning First Team All-NWC selection. She is the only returning starter. However, several key players off of the bench do come back: Faith Emerson (Sr., P); Alexis McLeod (Sr., G); Jessica Thoens (Jr., G); and Callie Harwood (So., F). All four players saw significant playing time throughout last season.
What will be the biggest difference between this year’s team and last year’s team?
“Whitworth had a senior-laden starting lineup in 2014-15 and was very balanced. Teams could not key on one or two players because any one of the starters could come through with a big game. The Pirates will likely be looking for McConnell to lead the way in the scoring department, especially early on this season. Her numbers could take a big jump.”
Which newcomer do you think will make the biggest impact this season?
“There are nine new freshmen on the Pirates’ roster this season and several could make an immediate impact. It is too early to tell which ones will separate themselves, however.”
Which player(s) do you expect to lead the team this season? Please name the captains if that has already been established.
“KC McConnell is the clear leader of this team, both on the floor and in the locker room.”
Is there one game you have circled on your calendar as your “game of the year”?
“Like on the men’s side, the Whitworth – Whitman rivalry is maybe the best DIII rivalry on the west coast. Both teams have been factors in the NCAA tournament for the last four seasons and each has pulled off dramatic wins over the other in key moments. Jan. 5 at Whitworth; Feb. 2 at Whitman.”
Is there anything else you want fans to know about your team?
“The Northwest Conference has developed into one of the very best Division III conferences in the country with recent national title contenders Whitman and George Fox. The Pirates have been right in the mix with those two for the last three seasons.”