Niles’ Jessica Shinsky in her second season at Ancilla College

Published 11:21 am Saturday, November 10, 2007

By Staff
DONALDSON, Ind. – After finishing with the best record in school history last year (12-16), and the first ever mention for any Ancilla sport in a national poll (mid-season Honorable Mention in NJCAA Division II), the Ancilla College women's basketball team looks to challenge that record with a young team and a grueling schedule in their tenth season of competition.
The Lady Chargers return just one starter from last year's team and two letter winners. Starter Jessica Shinsky returns her presence inside the lane. Last year Shinsky was second on the team in rebounds (173) and third in points per game (8.1). Along with sophomore Jessi Jenkins (3.7 ppg &1.9 rpg), she will be looked upon for leadership on a team that includes twelve freshmen.
"We will be young, even in comparison to other junior colleges," began Ancilla coach Dave Liverance, "but I think we will overcome that early in the season. Our keys to a good season should be our post play and depth on the perimeter. Coming together with good leadership and a solid foundation is always important."
The core of the freshmen post players boast the most height ever seen in the middle for Ancilla. Jessica Porter (Hobart), Yoland Maxie (Indianapolis Arlington), Valerie Hinds (Hamilton Southeastern), and Krystal Killebrew (Indianapolis Washington) are all 5'10" and taller. They will be looked upon to strengthen a team that was outrebounded by over 10 rebounds per game last season.
The ability to run the floor and cause havoc through perimeter defense is a key to most squads. Ancilla is no different.
Eight new guards will take the court for the Lady Chargers this season. Locally, Cheneka Anderson (South Bend Washington), Emily Keller (Culver Community), Jenessa Anderson (North Judson-San Pierre), and Sara Gunter (Caston) will join Anyae Coffer (Indianapolis Warren Central), Tamari Miller (Kokomo), Bianca Woods (Fort Wayne North Side), and Shekenda Ivey (Lakeland, FL).
Niles' Jessica Shinsky, a forward, is in her second season with the Lady Chargers.
Ancilla's schedule begins with three straight weekend tournaments, including the aforementioned Quad State Classic this weekend. Their non-conference opponents include the top ranked team in the NJCAA Division II pre-season poll, Kankakee Community College (IL) and No. 25 Lake Land Community College (IL).
Once the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Western Conference season begins, Ancilla will matchup against three more teams that received votes in the national poll, No. 7 Kellogg Community College and honorable mentions Grand Rapids Community College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. With the addition of Jackson Community College to the MCCAA West, the conference season, which usually started in January, now starts on Dec. 12.
As the season gets underway, a key for the youthful Lady Chargers will be to get used to the speed of the college game and learn the intricacies of a new coach, his expectations, and in most cases a totally new system.
Their depth and size should be in their favor and be strong contributors to their success. This should not only help at the beginning of the season but as it progresses.