Penn College Women's Basketball Team Right on Track

Published 01.06.2006


Despite losses to NCAA Division III teams in its last two games, the Pennsylvania College of Technology women's basketball team is right where coach Ron Kodish wants it.

The Wildcats, 5-3 overall and 4-0 in the Penn State University-Athletic Conference, return to the court after a monthlong layoff at7 p.m. Tuesday hosting Centenary (N.J.) College at Bardo Gym.

"I'm pleased to be where we are. To be undefeated in the conference and having one of those wins against a program (Penn State Hazleton) that we hadn't beaten before bodes well for us," Kodish said.

"We're home for 12 games and on the road for five the rest of the season and that should help our confidence. Our numbers are good. We've got a roster of 12 players and we're solid. We have depth. Our mind-set is good. Our confidence is good," the coach continued.

A midseason addition to the team is Sarah Mehlman, a 5-foot-10 freshman forward-center from North Schuylkill.

"She's a strong player who has a nice touch and good basketball skills.... And she can step out like a Katlyn Stupar and hit the medium-range jump shot so the defense can't sag in.... She's going to add to our program," Kodish said.

Expected to start Tuesday are Stupar, a 5-10 sophomore forward from State College who is averaging 18.3 points per game; Natali Plavi, 5-3 sophomore guard from Elderton averaging 7.8 points; Brittany Blessard, 5-4 sophomore guard from Renovo averaging 13.5 points, and Amy Fassett, 5-3 junior guard from Athens averaging 7.9 points. The fifth spot, Kodish said, is up for grabs.

Commenting on his team's games against Division III foes, Kodish said, "I truly believe that those games make us a better team in the long run, especially in preparing us for our conference play and playoffs at the end of the season.... You want to play a schedule that challenges you."

One area of concern for Kodish is a defense that has given up more points (64 per-game average) than the team's offense has scored (62 points per game).

"I've always prided myself in my team's defensive ability. We lost to some good teams that put points on the board and we've got to start holding those teams down to fewer points to give ourselves a chance to win the game," he said.

"We've got to continue to beat teams that we should be beating, but we have to start upsetting teams, and I think we did against Marywood. But we have to start doing that more regularly to really take the program where we want to go with it," the coach added.