WHEELING -With the loss of three seniors from last season's roster, Linsly girls' coach Erica Hall welcomes several new faces to the hardwood of the Stifel Field House.
The 2012-13 campaign saw the Cadets finish with an 8-8 record as they just missed the chance to compete in the OVAC tournament. Linsly finished fifth in its first season in Class 3A.
Hall begins her seventh season at Linsly looking to replace Emma Cecil, Krista Emch and Miriam Nwachukwu, but says she has plenty of talented youngsters to fill their shoes.
''This year we have seven new players to the varsity team,'' Hall pointed out. ''We have a lot of youth within our sophomores and freshmen. We have an athletic team and our energy has been really high. The excitement for this season has been good.''
Hall will be relying on senior Jashawna Jackson and sophomore Morgan Brunner to pick up right where they left off last season.
''J.J. and Morgan are two returning starters,'' Hall noted. ''They'll be good leaders on the floor this year.
''We've gained a lot of new faces with a lot of energy and focus. I think that energy has really boosted our effort in terms of our hard work and what our goals are for this season.''
Junior Abby Petho saw significant playing time and will look to start alongside Jackson and Brunner.
''She'll see a lot of the floor again this year,'' Hall said of Petho. ''Her positive attitude and hard work is definitely a good example coming into this year.''
Two freshmen have already caught Hall's eye in Jazzie Orth and Vivian Allison. The coach says both had excellent eighth grade seasons and will look to crack the starting lineup.
Hall is also looking forward to the play of two transfers in sophomores Hannah Nagy and Madison Helmick. Nagy played her freshman season at Union Local, while Helmick spent a year at Charleston Catholic. Hall says both players bring a lot to the table.
Another player Hall seems to be high on is junior Anni Vehola. According to Hall, Vehola brings height as well as athleticism and speed to the roster.
Other players that will look to see playing time include senior Olivia McDonald, and sophomores Paiton Knowles and Brooke Miller.
The 2013-14 season begins for the Cadets on Dec. 2 when they travel to Steubenville to take on Big Red.
''We'll have a week off for Thanksgiving and as soon as we get back we'll be ready to go,'' Hall said. ''We open up with Steubenville, so that will be a good challenge for us. I think starting off with tougher teams is good to see where we stand and to see what we need to continue to work on to get ready for the tournament. We're really excited about that. We know Steubenville is going to be a tough matchup, but we're looking forward to a competitive game and to see what we have in store for this season.
''I think the biggest difference in our team this year that people will see is our enthusiasm for one another and the excitement to play. Because we have a lot of new faces, we'll be a different team.''