Sunday, October 20, 2013

Disappointing end to magical season for Glenville State

For the second time in three seasons, the NCAA Division II women's team from Glenville State reached the national tournament. And this time, the Pioneers advanced through one round with a 111-86 rout of Shaw.

Coach Bunky Harkleroad and his squad couldn't get past California (Pa.) in their next game, however, losing 81-79 to finish with a 27-4 record. That included a 21-1 mark in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, good enough for the regular season title. Glenville State finished four games ahead of West Liberty.

Here are some highlights of the Pioneers' season:

  • Averaged 95.3 points to lead all NCAA divisions again, and that average increased to 99.3 in conference play.
  • Ginny Mills led four players who averaged double figures, finishing with 19 points per game. The others were Kenyona Simmons (15.0 ppg), Ashleigh Fossett (12.6) and Kenyell Goodson (10.9).
  • In all, 10 players got run in all 31 games as Coach Harkleroad took advantage of perhaps the best depth he's had in his tenure at Glenville State.
Now, for the changes this year, the most surprising of which is the departure of Coach Harkleroad. He announced his resignation Oct. 9, so he could take over as head coach at Division I Sacramento State, which lost its coach a couple of weeks previously to San Jose State.

The dominoes also cost the Pioneers their assistant coach, with former player Kim Stephens joining Coach Harkleroad on the left coast.

Those that know of my interest (Devotion? Obsession?) with Glenville State asked how I felt about this turn of events. Well, certainly, the timing wasn't perfect for anyone, and I'm going to miss having Coach Harkleroad on my side of the Mississippi River. And yet it's hard to deny this is an exciting time for him and The System, since this will be the first time the creation of David Arseneault has reached NCAA Division I. I haven't spoke with Coach Harkleroad about this, but I've heard he is planning to bring this wonderful, titillating style to the Hornets.

Hopefully, I'll get a chance before the season to check in with him, to see how he's going out there. It is kind of hard to picture someone leaving "Mountain Mama" for Cali, but I'm sure he'll do great.

His replacement is a familiar face with the program, one-time assistant Charles Marshall. He will lead Glenville State into its new conference, the Mountain East Conference. The new schedule begins for real Nov. 8 against Virginia Union.

Of course, that is just about a week after the unofficial start, when the Pioneers travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to play Duke in an exhibition. That is slated for Oct. 30, and yes, I plan to be in attendance.

Can't wait!

No comments:

Post a Comment