ESCANABA, MI – The Bay College Norse will look to build off the success of their first year. After posting a record of 14-11 a season ago, the Norse will look to a host of new faces as they try to improve on that mark.
Rob Robinson takes over as the Head Coach of the program this season. Coach Robinson brings 24 years of collegiate experience to the position. He has five conference coach of the year awards and has led teams to the NAIA National Tournament on two separate occasions.
The Norse will return three guards from last year's team. Among them is last year's leading scorer, Jordan Kraemer (SO, Norway, MI). Kraemer started all 25 games last season, averaging 33.9 minutes a game, 22.1 points per game, and 10.5 rebounds per game. Kraemer also led the team in shooting percentage last season, hitting on 46.0% of her attempts from the field. Joining her as a returning sophomore will be another team member that started every game last season, Paige Welch (Bark River, MI). Welch averaged 9.9 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, and 1.9 assists per game while playing 31.4 minutes per game last season. Jordan Belleville (SO, St. Ignace, MI) is the third returner from last season. Bellville started in 18 games last season, played in all 25, and led the team in three-point percentage at 32.5%. Belleville averaged 7.1 points per game last season. "Even though we are returning from last season it is almost half the minutes and rebounding and seventy percent of the scoring," said Coach Robinson. "These three have worked hard on improving what they need to do to become better and I am excited to see how they lead the freshman this season."
The Norse roster will feature ten incoming freshman this season, bringing the roster size up to 13 student-athletes, a big improvement from last year's roster of seven. Seven guards join the fray, including Kelsea Ackerman (Munising, MI), Marissa Ackerman (Munising, MI), Elizabeth Goodacre (Rapid River, MI), Kaitlyn Hardwick (Gladstone, MI), Taylor Hunter (Gladstone, MI), Haley Trudell (Rock, MI), and JuliAnn Wickman (Felch, MI). The frontcourt will feature all new faces this season, as Keshia Davis (St. Ignace, MI), Brooke Dalgord (Garden, MI), and Megan Robinette (Bark River, MI) make up the group of forwards. "I have said it all along that Coach [Rae] Drake did a great job putting a great roster together," continued Robinson. "Figuring out who our top five and ten are changes every night. If these players stay together, healthy, and keep working hard the sky is the limit for them."
Bay got its first look at this year's team earlier this month when they hosted Sault College from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on October 20 in an exhibition. The Norse offense would get off to a slow start, holding on to an eight point lead at half. The home team would take control in the second half, outscoring their opponents 40-14 on their way to a 60-26 victory. The Sault Cougars would only muster three points in the fourth quarter, though Bay had already built an insurmountable lead. Kraemer would lead all scorers with twelve points, while Davis would grab 14 rebounds on the afternoon.
The Norse will kick off their season on Friday when they travel to Mason City, Iowa to play in the Konigsmark Klassic Tournament hosted by North Iowa Community College. They meet up with Ellsworth Community College on Friday afternoon at 3 P.M. On Saturday they meet the host school, North Iowa Community College at 4 P.M. Coach Robinson talked about his early schedule. "Our first few games will not be easy especially playing a top 10 pre-season team in the second game but our players are up to the challenge and will keep fighting and improving every day like they have been so far."
Links to video and audio feeds can be found on the "Schedule/Results" page for Women's Basketball at www.baynorse.com, the official website of Norse Athletics.