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Sights set high for women's basketball

By Kyle Isaacs
On October 27, 2011

The Xavier women's basketball team might have a new coach at the helm this season, but it still is determined to win their fourth straight Atlantic 10 regular season title and appear in its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament.

Waugh, who inherits an extremely young team, has her sights set on building the Xavier program and continuing the Musketeers' recent success.

In order for the success to continue, Waugh will need a strong year from senior Tyeasha Moss, the lone returning starter from last year's team.

Moss, who started in all 32 games last season, will be the go-to player for Xavier this season. She averaged 10.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 3.4 apg in 2010-11 while playing over 1,000 minutes on the season.

Other than Moss, no returning player started a game last season. Despite the inexperience, Waugh expects big things from players who did not receive a lot of playing time last year.

The Musketeers will be the benefactors of some key additions, including two transfers and a strong incoming freshmen class.

Junior Tykiesha O'Neill, a transfer from Chipola College (Marianna, FL), averaged 18 ppg last season before sustaining an injury; another junior transfer, Jessica Pachko, played some important minutes at Marquette University while average 10.4 ppg.

The incoming freshmen class is headed by Liz Stratman, who was an All-State Basketball selection in Indiana while leading her high school to back-to-back state championships.

Before tipping their season off, the women have received some preseason accolades from the national media.

College Sports Madness has ranked the women as the 36th best team entering the season and the second best team in the Atlantic 10.

In their bracket predictions, they have slotted Xavier as a 10 seed.

The women will be tested early, however, with November matchups against the University of Louisville, the University of Cincinnati and Stanford University.

"[This year's team is] one of the hardest working groups I've been around," Waugh said.

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