posted November 6, 2009

2009-10 Women's Basketball Pre-Season Outlook

The defending Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) champion Flying Dutch return a solid core of experienced players that is complemented by a promising group of players new to the varsity.

Coach Brian Morehouse begins his 14th season at the helm of a team that has won 20 or more games a school-record 11 straight years. The Flying Dutch posted a 28-2 record in 2008-09 and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III championships for the second year in-a-row. The team was eliminated from the tournament by the eventual national champion for the second straight season. Morehouse ranks among the winningest active NCAA Division III coaches with a 316-58 (84%) record. His teams the past five seasons posted a 138-12 mark.

This year's roster includes nine returning letterwinners. There are six freshman prospects joined by two sophomores, six juniors and two seniors.

Tri-captains of the team are senior guard Philana Greene of Grandville (Grandville HS), senior guard Jenny Cowen of Dexter (Dexter HS), and junior center Carrie Snikkers of Jenison (Unity Christian HS). All three players have received All-MIAA first team honors during their career, Greene in 2007-08 and Cowen and Snikkers in 2008-09. Snikkers was also named a consensus Division III All-American a year ago.

Other returning letterwinners include junior guard Miranda DeKuiper of Ludington (Ludington HS), junior guard Abby Phillips of Wayland (Wayland HS), sophomore guard Allie Cerone of Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton North HS), junior guard Lauren Geers of Scottville (Mason County Central HS), junior forward Erika Bruinsma of Grand Rapids (Grand Rapids Christian HS), and junior center Rachael Kutney of St. Clair Shores (Lake Shore HS). Sophomore guard Brooke Nienhuis of Zeeland (Zeeland West HS) was a member of the junior varsity a year ago.

The six freshman prospects include guard Olivia Allore of Muskegon (Muskegon Catholic Central HS), guard Liz Ellis of Grand Rapids (East Grand Rapids HS), forward Courtney Kust of Cincinnati, Ohio (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy), center Ashley Bauman of Manistee (Manistee Catholic Central HS), forward Jillian Nichols of Brighton (Brighton HS), and center Meredith Kussmaul of Hartland (Hartland HS).

The Flying Dutch will play eight of their first nine games at home at the DeVos Fieldhouse where they carry a 49- game home court winning streak.