Fast-paced play, newcomers highlight Flashes upcoming season

Ian Kreider

The Kent State women’s basketball team plans on changing its play style from a half-court set inside team to a fast-paced outside team.

This change is in large part to the departure of star player Jordan Korinek. She averaged 19.8 points per game en route to an All-Mid American Conference First Team selection. She also dominated the ball for most of the game as she produced nearly a third of Kent State’s points per game.

Coach Todd Starkey will turn to the seven incoming players: guard Annie Pavalansky, guard Asiah Dingle, guard Mariah Modkins, guard Hannah Young, forward Lindsey Thall, guard Jess Wallis and forward Sydney Brinlee.

“They were recruited to have a big role right away,” Starkey said. “The implementation of that is to change our style of play. I think we have the ability with these new players to play faster. We definitely should be able to shoot the ball from the three-point line at a higher percentage and take a few more calculated risks defensively to try to create some offense. We have kind of thrown them right into the fire because they are going to have to play against some pretty good opponents right out of the gate.”

To Starkey, the incoming players bring a level of shooting that has not been present in his time at Kent State.

“Defensive side of the ball is developing a little slower than I would like, while the offensive side of the ball is probably a little bit ahead of schedule,” Starkey said.

Starkey highlighted that execution on the offensive side of the ball would be key in their season. The Flashes averaged 62.2 ppg, which was last in the MAC.

He expects junior guard Ali Poole to be a valuable piece of the team.

“Ali is going to have to be a lot more versatile this year,” Sterling said. “Her knowledge and experience is what she brings to the table that will keep her on the floor. One of her greatest abilities right now is the ability to not screw up what we’re trying to do.”

Another returner Starkey could be counting on may be sophomore guard Margaux Eibel, who earned a scholarship in the offseason. She scored seven points in 23 minutes played last season.

“She really earned it,” Starkey said. “She was very consistent throughout last year with her effort, positive attitude and energy.”

The newcomers will ultimately have a large say in how success the Flashes are. Senior guard Alexa Golden and junior guard Megan Carter had high praise for one freshman in particular: Dingle.

“Asiah is a lot quicker. Usually freshman don’t come in with the strength that she does, but she is strong taking it to the basket and she can also shoot so she’s probably the toughest to guard,” Golden said.

 Carter had more praise for Dingle on the defensive side of the ball.

“She has some very, very quick hands,” Carter said. “I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better through her guarding me.”

The Flashes will look to put the pieces together heading into their opener on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. inside the Memorial Athletic Convocation Center against Slippery Rock.

Ian Kreider is the sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].