Women’s Basketball Preview: New Faces Abound for Eagles

Women’s Basketball Preview: New Faces Abound for Eagles

ANKENY, Iowa—Faith Eagles head coach Monty Kaufman is entering his second season at the helm for Faith women's basketball. Now that he has a full season under his belt, he's excited to build off some of the foundational principles he installed last year.

"Everything is easier this go-around," said Kaufman. "The girls who are back from last year know what to expect and not everything is so new."

The biggest challenge Kaufman faces in year two is the departure of five players from last year's team—two of which accounted for 48 percent of the team's scoring and 65 percent of its three-point baskets. Finding some shooters who can consistently knock down the outside shot will be a key component to the Eagles' success this year.

Faith will rely heavily on the inside play of sophomore Rachel Kleczka, who broke the school's single season rebounding record last year with 353. She is also the team's leading returning scorer at 9.3 points per game. She will be joined by two other returning starters from last year: Alicia Smith and Makenna Laib. Smith is the lone senior on the team and averaged 7.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a starter last season. Laib looks to build off a promising freshman campaign when she averaged 8.6 points, 3.0 steals, and 1.3 assists per game.

Other returnees for the Eagles from a year ago include Morgan Stephens and Amanda Wenszell, who combined for 2.3 points and 1.0 assist per game. Stephens and Wenszell bring leadership and much-needed experience in Coach Kaufman's second season.

Newcomers for the Eagles include Kyla Rounds, Donnecia King, Mary Yarnell, Sara Iler, Amanda Larson, and Sierra Udd.

Faith begins its season on Friday, November 20, at 6 p.m. against Trinity Bible College. The Eagles play the second game of the Faith Invitational on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Randall University.