Women's Basketball Begins 2007-08 on the Road

PHILADELPHIA--Penn begins the 2007-08 season with a brand new opponent, Elon, Friday,followed by a game against William & Mary—a school that has not played Penn since the 1990-91 season—on Saturday. Both games are part of Elon’s ISES Cancer Awareness Tip-Off at Alumni Gym in Elon, N.C. Friday's game will begin at 7 p.m. while Saturday the tip is set for 5 p.m. The fourth team in the tournament is Campbell, which the Quakers will not face.

Penn will play two games on the road this week before hosting its home opener against Manhattan in the nightcap of a double-header with the Penn men’s basketball team, Saturday, Nov. 17. This is the second consecutive season that Penn has started on the road. Despite graduating their top three scorers from last season-including Penn's seventh all-time scorer-the Quakers look solid with a deep junior class that has seen significant minutes since arriving on campus two years ago. On losing Penn's seventh all-time scorer, Joey Rhoads W'07 and last season's leading scorer and rebounder, Monica Naltner W'07, Coach Knapp said, "I've been around the game long enough to know that while you're sorry to see some of those seniors move on, there is always someone who steps up and takes the bull by the horns. The team has to do it in its own way." Penn's way has started forming in the preseason, and Knapp is pleased with the potential he has seen. "There is a lot of enthusiasm on the team right now," said Coach Knapp. "I've seen some encouraging signs and changes for the better. There is good leadership, and I know a lot of our players worked hard this summer to be in a better place when we started up." Penn has just one senior on the roster this season-guard Kimberly Franklin will serve as one of three captains in her final season in the Red and Blue. The Quakers will look for a good deal of their points from juniors Kelly Scott and Carrie Biemer and sophomore transfer Sarah Bucar. Scott averaged 4.7 points per game while Biemer contributed 4.4 ppg. Both were key reserve players in every contest last season. Scott and Anca Popovici, a "lockdown defender" according to Knapp, will serve as captains along with Franklin. Popovici started every game last season, averaged 2.7 ppg, and is the team's top returner in assists and steals. Though on the team last season, Bucar will take her first steps on the hardwood in a Quaker jersey this season. The sophomore transferred to Penn after one season at West Virginia but did not compete last season in compliance with NCAA regulations. Initially recruited by Coach Knapp at Georgetown, Bucar opted to attend West Virginia after Knapp left Georgetown. At WVU, Bucar averaged 14.1 minutes a game as back-up to Ashley Powell-one of the nation's top freshmen in 2005-06. In the post, 2006-07 starter Maggie Burgess (Anchorage, Alaska) returns along with Carrie Biemer (Hatboro, N.J.) and Katarina Lackner (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Penn welcomes four freshmen to the roster-Kim Adams (White Plains, N.Y.), Caroline Nicholson (Springfield, Va.), Erin Power (Elmwood Park, Ill.) and Jerin Smith (Fort Worth, Texas).