After three seasons and just 34 wins, Washington coach Tia Jackson knows the expectation is that more victories need to show up.
She just doesn’t have a team filled with a ton of experience to turn around a program that has struggled since she arrived in 2007.
Washington, which opens its season today at home against Portland State, has one senior – point guard Sarah Morton – on its roster. The Huskies do return four players who started at various points during a 13-18 season a year ago, but must find someone to replace leading scorer and rebounder Sami Whitcomb, who graduated.
“I really like the attitude of our players right now,” Jackson said. “We really want to build on last year.”
Washington went 13-18 in her first year, dipped to 8-22 her second season – matching the worst mark in school history – and bounced back somewhat last season.
“I think we can be really special,” Jackson said.
Much of Jackson’s optimism is based around the return of junior guard Kristi Kingma, the team’s secondleading scorer last season, post Regina Rogers and the health of 6-foot-3 post Mackenzie Argens.
Kingma averaged nearly 10 points per game last season, while Rogers averaged 8.3 points and 4.2 rebounds .
Jackson is also high on forward Mollie Williams, who led the Huskies with 14 points and 16 rebounds in an exhibition win over Western Washington on Nov. 3.