Lyndonville, VT - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon women's basketball team will open the 2019-2020 season by hosting the annual Northern Vermont University Tip-Off Classic on Friday and Saturday. The Hornets are looking to build on their 2018-2019 campaign, which was the program's most successful since joining the North Atlantic Conference. The Hornets finished 14-12 overall and 8-6 in NAC play and advanced to the conference semi-finals for the first time in program history.
The Hornets return eight players from last year's team, including NAC Defensive Player of the Year Alissa Mitchell (Milton, NH) and NAC Rookie of the Year Lea Crompton (Dunbarton, NH). Mitchell, a senior forward, was the Hornets' leading scorer a year ago, averaging 11.5 points per game. She also led the team in assists (3.3) and steals (2.3) and was second on the team in rebounding (7.5). Crompton, a sophomore guard, averaged 10.3 points and 3.2 assists per game in her rookie season.
Lyndon also returns its top inside presence in senior forward Alisha Celley (Cabot, VT), along with sharpshooting guard Faith Poirier (Portsmouth, NH). Celley led the team in rebounding a year ago, pulling down 8.3 boards per contest, while averaging 6.7 points per game. Poirier knocked down a team best 43 three-point field goals in averaging 8.3 points per game.
A pair of seniors who played their first two seasons at Central Maine Community College also return for their final season. Forward Rylee Moore (Livermore, ME) and guard Ellie Harrington (Fareham, Hampshire, UK) will be key pieces in the Hornet rotation. Sophomore forwards Lauren Young (Concord, VT) and Ashlynn Bardos (Beaumont, CA) round out Lyndon's experienced group of returnees.
Junior guard Shaylan Mosher (Newark, VT), a Castleton University transfer, is the only newcomer on the roster. Mosher played two seasons with the Spartans and is expected to make an immediate contribution to the Hornets.
Benjamin Arsenault takes over as the Hornet head coach this season. Arsenault was the girls varsity coach at Lyndon Institute a year ago. He is no stranger to the NAC, having spent two seasons as the men's assistant coach at NVU-Johnson (then Johnson State College) earlier in his career. Arsenault expects the Hornets to be in the thick of the NAC race. "I am very excited to lead such a special group of women. From day one they've bought into our culture and have worked exceptionally hard. We have a long way to go but I am thrilled about our progress in such a short amount of time. Our goal as a team is to win the NAC. I fully expect us to compete and challenge the league's best."
The Hornets have been picked to finish fourth in the NAC 2019-2020 pre-season coaches poll. Defending champion Husson University was picked to repeat, followed by Maine Maritime Academy. The predicted order of finish is:
- Husson University
- Maine Maritime Academy
- University of Maine at Farmington
- Northern Vermont University-Lyndon
- SUNY Canton
- Thomas College
- University of Maine at Presque Isle
- Northern Vermont University-Johnson
For a complete preview of the 2019-2020 NAC women's basketball season click HERE.
The Hornets will face Rivier University in the opening round of the NVU Tip-Off Classic. Tip-off is set for 7:30 pm on Friday evening in Stannard Gymnasium. NVU-Johnson and Fisher College will square off at 5:30 pm in the torunament opener. On Saturday, NVU-Johnson and Rivier will meet in the 1:00 pm opener, while the Hornets will face Fisher in the second game at 3:00 pm.
The Hornets will begin NAC play on December 7th, when they travel to conference favorite Husson.