Catamounts look toward the postseason

The University of Vermont women’s basketball team is roaring towards the America East conference tournament, currently sitting in second behind the University of Hartford  with a 12-2 record.

Not only are the Catamounts eyeing the 2010 America East title, but also a bid to the 2010 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The team is positioned to make the tournament either by way of an at-large bid or a 2010 America East Conference championship.

Much of the Catamount’s  success this year can be attributed to the play of team veterans.  The team’s scoring leaders are the dynamic duo of seniors May Kotsopoulos and Courtnay Pilypaitis.

Kotsopoulos is having another stellar year, consistently giving the Cats a legitimate scoring threat. Pilypaitis — who recently became the conference’s second career assists leader — is doing it all this year by leading the team in rebounds per game (7.6) and assists (124) as well as being the second-leading point scorer.

Senior Sofia Iwobi  and junior Tonya Young also add veteran leadership to the starting squad.

The fifth member of the starting lineup is freshman Kendra Seto who, along with five other first year players, is providing some much needed support this season.

Seto is fourth on the team in points per game (9.7) and third in rebounds per game (5.1).  Seto attributes much of her success to what she has learned from the upperclassmen.

“They have been terrific role models on and off the court,” Seto said.

Fellow freshmen Lauren Buschmann, Morgan Albert and Kristine LaLonde are providing head coach Sharon Dawley with some productive minutes off the bench.

“The freshman class has brought athleticism, talent and a ton of competitiveness to the team this season,” Dawley said. “They have given us depth and are doing a great job coming off the bench.”

With four graduating seniors, the play of this year’s freshmen will be beneficial as the team looks toward next season.

“The way the freshman class has responded this season gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” Dawley said. “We can see a lot of leadership and talent among the newcomers and look forward to them being super sophomores next season.”

For now though, the team looks toward the March 4 start of the America East Tournament.