Point Park women look to continue toward their goal of the AMC playoffs
Dec. 13, 2010
By Lyddia Ankrom, Point Park athletic communications student assistant
PITTSBURGH – The Point Park University women’s basketball team started its season with a goal to reach its full potential and qualify for the American Mideast Conference playoffs.
“The goal since Day 1 of practice has been to qualify for the AMC tournament,” said Point Park head coach Sam Kosanovich, who is in his fifth season with the Pioneers.
Six of the 12 teams in the AMC qualify for the conference playoffs. The winner of the AMC tournament earns an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II national tournament, and the AMC regular-season champion also gets an invite to nationals.
“This team has a strong commitment every day of practice and every game day,” said Kosanovich. “They know how to act on and off the court and their academics are really strong. I like how we’re playing as a team. We continue to improve, and I hope we reach our peak later on in the season.”
So far this season, the Pioneers have a 6-3 overall record with a 1-1 conference record. The Pioneers won their last conference game, 59-47, over Houghton last Tuesday,
The Pioneers are led by three senior veterans. Fourth-year player Heather Swedish, from Sewickley, Pa., has played in the most career games, but unfortunately, the 3-point shooting specialist is out for the year with a knee injury she suffered recently. Leading scorer Ashley Henderson, a guard from Greensburg, Pa., is in her third year in the program while senior Ashley Bergman, from West Mifflin, Pa., provides outside shooting off the bench.
April Austin, a sophomore point guard from Penn Hills, Pa., is a tri-captain this year along with Swedish and Henderson. Another top performer for the Pioneers thus far has been junior center Joncelyn Peterkin, from West Mifflin, Pa. She had been known mostly as a shot blocker, but she has improved greatly on the offensive end this year.
Other players who have seen time in the starting lineup are Kristin Veseleny, a junior guard/forward from Pleasant Hills, Pa., Anna-Maria Boshkova, a sophomore forward from Sofia, Bulgaria, and Sarah Sandin, a freshman guard/forward from West Newton, Pa. Also, Kristen Beatty, a junior swing player from Pittsburgh, Pa., gets significant playing time off the bench.
“All of the players are supportive of one another, which brings out good team chemistry for this season,” said Kosanovich.
Starting with a home game versus Salem International on Dec. 14, the Pioneers have 17 games remaining this season, 14 of which are conference games.
“Every game should be treated as a championship game,” said Kosanovich. “All the games are the same and we’re working towards the same goal each and every game.”