Oct. 1, 2012
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team held its first official practice of the 2012-13 season Monday afternoon at the West Gym.
"It was great to see all the girls together on the court," fourth-year head coach Jody Wynn said. "I think we worked hard today and there was a lot of spirit in the gym. It's nice to see our returners vocal, positive and really encouraging our three newcomers."
LBSU held a nearly three-hour practice in its first session as an entire team. The 49ers went through a 20-minute warm up before meeting at half court for a quick pep talk from Wynn. The team then went right into taking charges before splitting into position groups. Long Beach State also covered transition, defensive and offensive movement, and ran a 4-on-4 full court drill, before ending with 10 minutes of shooting drills.
"There's a different aura on the court right now because of our returners and how they finished last year," Wynn said. "Everybody is a little bit more confident and so it's easier to talk, direct and encourage on the court. Our chemistry is really good and we just have to get a little bit better every single day."
For the first time in three years, players with NCAA Division I experience outnumber those without on the Long Beach State roster. The 49ers return eight letterwinners from a 2011-12 squad that advanced to the Big West Tournament championship game. Sophomore Alex Sanchez leads the group as the team's top returning scorer after averaging 9.2 points per game last year. Sanchez garnered All-Big West honorable mention recognition and was also named to the conference's all-freshman team. In addition, LBSU welcomes back a pair of Big West All-Tournament selections in sophomore Devin Hudson (6.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and junior Hallie Meneses (6.0 ppg, 3.3 apg).
Also returning for the 49ers are senior Mary Ochiltree, and sophomores Bianka Balthazar, Chantel Dooley, Sigrid Skorpen and Lauren Spargo. Both sophomores Ella Clark and Sendy Valles are coming off a redshirt year.
Long Beach State will host Sacramento State in its season opener on Friday, Nov. 9.
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