Roy White | Staff Reporter
Posted July 1, 2014; 8:30 a.m.
As their first official season in the NCAA came to a 14-14 close, the Lindenwood Women’s Basketball team Head Coach Tony Francis said the staff is “very encouraged” with their first step into Division II of the NCAA from their previous NAIA division.
“We found we were able to compete with the elite teams in our conference on most nights, while also discovering the amount of improvement we still need to make,” Francis said.
Francis said many of those improvements come from within the off-season.
Four new players have been signed for this upcoming season, all having what Francis considers to be, “the opportunity to play a major role in this program’s development.”
During the November early signing period, Bri Wilber, point guard from Broomfield, Colo. was signed. Wilber was one of the top five point guards in Colorado and won a state championship in high school. Joining her from the November period is Kylie Ferguson, an All-State and All-Conference selected guard from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Francis said he believes she has “Division 1 strength on the court.”
The third member on the list is Jonna Raflund, a transfer from D-1 Youngstown State. Originally from Sweden, Raflund has an impressive track record starting with Sweden’s U15, U16 and U20 team and expanding all the way to winning a gold medal in the Nordic Championship.
The final recruit is Hannah Bland, an incoming freshmen who is currently participating in basic training for the National Guard. Francis stated that Bland “might be our most athletic player on the roster.”
It is evident that improvements are being made for the second season in the NCAA for the Lions. Francis, along with the rest of the coaches, said he has spent, and will continue to spend, many hours preparing for this season.
“It is imperative that myself and this staff work as hard as possible to give our players all they deserve.”