BOONE, N.C. – After graduating one of the most successful classes in its history, Appalachian State University women's basketball conducted its first official practice on Monday at the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers, who return eight players from last year's squad, will welcome six newcomers this season including five freshman and one sophomore transfer.
Gone are staples like Anna Freeman, Courtney Freeman and Kelsey Sharkey - but the intensity level stayed the same as Darcie Vincent opened her sixth season at the helm on Monday evening.
Practice began with a series of fast-break drills that focused on getting open shots in transition while the defense was tasked with slowing down the break and forcing errant passes. The opening portion of the two-hour session was followed up by a series of rebounding drills, focused on shuttung down second-chance opportunities for the offense.
Maryah Sydnor and Katie Mallow looked sharp in the opening practice - an encouraging sign as the squad will rely heavily on the junior duo to replace much of the production lost from a year ago.
In addition, senior Michelle Taylor looked ready to step up as her first practice was crisp and junior Jessica Barrios continued to show improvement after appearing in 13 games last year - one year removed from a season-ending knee injury that cost her the 2011-12 season.
All practices are CLOSED to the public but appstatesports.com and AppState TV will post practice reports over the next month leading up to Appalachian's season opener at Vanderbilt on Nov. 8