Lady Flames set fire to the lane

Women’s Basketball has bigger plans than just a Big South Championship

The Lady Flames basketball team will begin the 2015-2016 season once again favored to win the Big South and poised to continue in its winning ways.

While being the perennial conference favorite is flattering, it does not change the focus of a team looking to continue to show dominance year after year. Head Coach Carey Green addressed the ranking during media day, but left it at that, rallying his team to focus on “WIN” (What is Important Now).


“Every year is a fresh new start,” Green said. “You can’t really copy what you did last year for this particular team. … Every year you have to start over.”

After a tough loss against UNC in the NCAA tournament, Liberty said goodbye to seniors Karly Buer, Emily Frazier, Jasmine Gardner and Ellee Rollins. The leadership of the team will feature five seniors leading the way for the Lady Flames this year.

Though there are different faces in the locker room, the fundamentals remain the same. The Lady Flames still have the strength and rebounding of redshirt senior forward/center Ashley Rininger, Academic All-American and Big South Championship MVP, who did nothing but produce throughout the season. The Lady Flames also bring back redshirt seniors Katelyn Adams and Catherine Kearney, who both provide size and power in the paint.

This year’s squad is posed with a different challenge, as six incoming freshmen look to come in and contribute to what is already established. Senior guard Sadalia Ellis acknowledged the challenge that presents for the team’s veterans.

“It’s unique,” Ellis said. “(We’ve) got five seniors and then … seven underclassmen, so it’s a little bit of everything. (We’ve) got underclassmen with anxiety, and they’re fresh, and you’ve got seniors all motivated and ready to go. … Everybody’s just trying to work hard.”

As the team continues working to get up to speed, Green said they are learning how to play with each other and developing their camaraderie.

Dish — Lady Flames senior Sadalia Ellis passes to a teammate. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

Dish — Lady Flames senior Sadalia Ellis passes to a teammate. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

With no lack of talent, the Lady Flames biggest challenge heading into the season will be getting everyone up to speed and on the same page. Chemistry will be key as Liberty will face a number of tough non-conference competitors, including NC State, Ohio State, Duke and California.

Senior guard Jaymee Fisher-Davis hopes to become more of a vocal leader on the court this season, and she expressed confidence in the group that surrounds her.

“We have a really good balance of talent,” Fisher-Davis said. “We pretty much have all the pieces that we need. We have the height, we have good ball handlers, good passers, good shooters. … I think we’re really diverse in that area.”

Opening the season ranked 18th in the CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25, Liberty will look to improve upon last year’s 26-7 record.

“Every year you just want to build,” Ellis said. “Every year you want to do better than the previous.”

The Lady Flames will begin their season Friday, Nov. 13 when they take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers in Boone, North Carolina. Their home opener will be Monday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Vines Center against the Elon University Rams.

Carter is a copy editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *