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Women’s basketball set for run at NAC title

Three teams received first place votes in the North Atlantic Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll. Castleton was picked to finish in second sandwiched between Maine Maritime Academy and defending NAC champions, Husson University.Now in his tenth season at the helm, head coach Tim Barrett is optimistic for his Spartans.

“All the Maine schools will be very competitive,” said Barrett. “Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be competing with the [conference]. We have a good nucleus returning. Seven returners and seven new players.”

Two of those new players, guard Alyssa Leonard and guard/forward Taylor Race, look to contribute right away to the program.

Barrett talked about the successful preseason for the two freshmen as well as Race’s versatility.

He said the team will have a comfortable backup to returning point guard Christine Jaques.

“We open our schedule with Utica who advanced to the second round [of the NCAA tournament a year ago],” Barrett said.

Utica returns senior sensation, Jessica Berry, an All-American selection a season ago.

Castleton’s home opener is Nov. 23 against Plymouth State University. The conference opener and beginning of the quest to de-thrown Husson is at home in against the University of Maine-Farmington on Jan. 14, 2011.