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   With seven returning players, this year’s women’s team is looking to regain its championship form from the 2003 season.

   The team’s 15-14 record and fourth-place conference finish last season left the players wanting more, butthey will have to replace more than half of its total offense.

   The team has lost 38 points of offense per game with the loss of seniors Nikki Hendrix, Dewella Holliday andTijwana Collins. The team averaged 58.6 points per game.

   “They were huge asset, but we’re not focused on what we lost,” said junior center Lacy Mingee,who averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season.”This is a different team, and everyone  is a scoringthreat.”

   But head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair will rely onher defense once again. Since she arrived at UTSA four years ago,she has focused on defense, and for three straight years, UTSA hassled the Southland Conference (SLC) in points allowed.

   “That’s something she really takes pride in,” Mingee said. “She’s stressed that since day one.”

   Rippetoe-Blair has led the team to the SLC Tournament all four years, something no other women’s coach has done in UTSA’s history.

   Last year’s team found their groove latein the year, when they won five of their final six. UTSA will play a 27-game regular season schedule including three tournaments.

   Their first game will be against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 19 at the Convocation Center. At the end of November, UTSA will travel to College Station to play TexasA&M.

 

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