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Silver Stars to Tip Off WNBA Season Saturday

June 4, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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2005 Liberty graduate Katie (Feenstra) Mattera and the San Antonio Silver Stars will tip off the 2009 WNBA season Saturday at Phoenix.

2005 Liberty graduate Katie (Feenstra) Mattera and the San Antonio Silver Stars will tip off the 2009 WNBA season Saturday at Phoenix.

Watch Silver Stars games on WNBA LiveAccess

Watch a video interview with Megan Frazee

Watch a video interview with Katie (Feenstra) Mattera

Watch a video interview with Olaf Lange

The defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Silver Stars, featuring a strong Liberty influence, will open the 2009 WNBA season Saturday evening at Phoenix. Former Lady Flames Megan Frazee and Katie (Feenstra) Mattera, as well as former Liberty associate head coach Olaf Lange, will attempt to help the Silver Stars return to the WNBA Finals for the second straight year.

San Antonio head coach and general manager Dan Hughes, the 2007 WNBA Coach of the Year, returns most of the key components of last year's team. Leading the way are a pair of 2008 All-WNBA team honorees, Sophia Young and Becky Hammon. Young, a first-team All-WNBA pick, is a 6-1 forward who posted a career-high 17.5 ppg and 5.6 rpg a season ago. Meanwhile, Hammon, a 5-6 guard, was a second-team all-league selection. She averaged 17.6 ppg and 4.9 apg for the Silver Stars, during her 10th WNBA campaign.

Frazee and Mattera are two of the team's most notable off-season additions. The Silver Stars selected Frazee with the No. 14 pick in the WNBA Draft on April 9, after the 6-3 guard/forward finished her stellar four-year career with the Lady Flames. Frazee has been splitting time between the No. 3 and 4 positions during the preseason. She drained a pair of three-pointers in San Antonio's first exhibition contest, versus Detroit on May 30. On Tuesday, Frazee grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in 17 minutes of work against Indiana.

Meanwhile, Mattera was signed by the Silver Stars as a free agent on May 11, initiating her second stint in San Antonio. Mattera, beginning her fifth season in the WNBA, played the 2005 and 2006 campaigns with the Silver Stars. The 6-8 center has served as an effective backup for Ruth Riley during the preseason. Mattera averaged 9.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 1.5 bpg during San Antonio's pair of exhibition outings, including a 13-point, eight-rebound outburst in her home state of Michigan, May 30 versus Detroit.

Lange, who served on Carey Green's coaching staff with the Lady Flames during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, is starting his third year on the Silver Stars' staff. Lange's wife, Sandy Brondello, is Hughes' other assistant coach. A former standout WNBA player, Brondello has coached in San Antonio since 2005.

Liberty fans hoping to follow the Silver Stars' progress this season will have several ways to do so. The team will have two games broadcast nationally on ESPN2, including the June 23 home game against Phoenix and the Aug. 29 home tilt versus Detroit. Additionally, more than 200 WNBA games will be video streamed for free this season, via WNBA LiveAccess.

San Antonio's closest visits to the Lynchburg area during the 34-game regular season will be a July 15 contest at Washington and an Aug. 20 game at Atlanta. The game at Washington's Verizon Center features a unique 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning tip-off.

Finally, will provide updates on Frazee, Mattera, Lange and the Silver Stars throughout the 2009 WNBA season.

Key Dates to Remember
June 6 – San Antonio at Phoenix, 10 p.m. (Season Opener)
June 13 – New York at San Antonio, 8 p.m. (Home Opener)
June 23 – Phoenix at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m. (Televised by ESPN2)
July 15 – San Antonio at Washington, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 20 – San Antonio at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 29 – Detroit at San Antonio, 3 p.m. (Televised by ESPN2)
Sept. 12 – Seattle at San Antonio, 8 p.m. (Final Regular-Season Game)