By Mike Demos
Jaques brings a great pedigree to Siena College with 14 years of Division I coaching experience. The Rosemont, N.J. native spent the past four years at Northwestern University, serving as associate head coach the past two seasons. During her time in Evanston, Ind., Jaques worked as recruiting coordinator for a program that boasted the 14th ranked recruiting class in the nation in 2011 and the 20th ranked recruiting class in 2009 according to ESPN Hoopgurlz.
Jaques inherits a program that finished 12-17 last season and tied for fourth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference at 9-9. While the Saints did graduate two established performers – Cristina Centeno ’12 and Maja Gerlyng ’12 – they return 2011-12 MAAC First Team selection Lily Grenci ’13 and a hungry young nucleus looking to lead the program back to the top of the conference.
Grenci is a MAAC Player of the Year candidate after enjoying a breakout season last year. She ranked second in the conference in scoring averaging 15.2 points per game, and her 7.8 rebounds per contest ranked third. While she is the unquestioned veteran leader of the program, Tehresa Coles ’15 is the face of the future. A budding star right from Loudonville who graduated from Colonie Central, Coles electrified Siena fans with her tremendous intensity, speed and athleticism last season.
Clara Sole Anglada ’14 and Kanika Cummings ’14 had breakout seasons last year and were among the team’s top performers over the final month. Allison Mullings ’14 began the season as the starting point guard before tearing her ACL eight minutes into the season opener. Mullings has worked hard to get back to full strength in the offseason. Mulling is part of a six-member junior class that has accumulated the experience and leadership skills necessary to have an impactful year.
Siena opens the 2012-13 season on Nov. 9 at the Times Union Center against Fairleigh Dickinson in the front end of a doubleheader with the men’s team. The men’s and women’s programs will be showcased together twice more in the state capital this season – for the Albany Cup vs. UAlbany December 1 and again on January 13 when the women host Manhattan.
Of Siena’s 29 regular season games, 14 take place in the Capital Region, including 10 dates that fall on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, providing a very fan-friendly schedule.
On Nov. 20, the Saints welcome nearly 2,000 local schoolchildren to the ARC for the annual Kid’s Day Game as part of the Adopt-A-School program. Feb. 15 marks the 13th Annual Pink Zone Game raising awareness and money for the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer, a cause for which the Saints helped to raise more than $25,000 last year.
The Saints take their first aim at fulfilling Coach Jaques’ goal of winning a MAAC Championship in March. Siena will look for the program’s second ever conference championship March 7-11 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.
With a renewed energy and focus and with excitement at a near fever pitch, Saints fans are sure to enjoy a new ballgame this winter.