ADRIAN, Mich. -- The Siena Heights women's basketball team opens the 2019-20 season tomorrow evening with a 5:00 p.m., EST, game against Great Lakes Christian in the SHU Fieldhouse. The Saints finished last season with a 23-8 overall record and a 15-5 mark in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play. They finished fourth in the standings and hosted fifth-seed Lawrence Tech in the opening round of the tournament, losing 68-63 in overtime to the Blue Devils.
The Saints return four of the team's five starters from a season ago while adding depth on the bench. The loss of leading scorer and First Team All-WHAC member Alyssa Larson (11.8 PPG) is a large one. However, SHU returns three of the top five scorers from last season including Demi Russell with 10.4 PPG which was the second-best average on the team a season ago. Russell finished the season with a field goal percentage of 50.2% and was averaging 4.2 rebounds per game. She was named second-team All-WHAC in 2018-19.
Kiana Votava finished the year scoring 10.0 points per game. She shot 43.2% from the field, 44.4 from beyond the arc, and 80.7 from the free-throw line last year. She also averaged 4.5 rebounds per game which were the third-best on the team.
Peyton Banks scored 9.4 points per game and hauled in 4.3 rebounds per contest. Both her scoring and rebound average was fourth-best on the squad a year ago. Banks was selected to the WHAC All-Freshman team for her performance in the 2018-19 season.
Siena Heights women's basketball is led by Sue Syljebeck who is coming into her 16th season at the helm of the team. Coach Syljebeck is 271-187 overall and 154-112 in WHAC play. The Saints are 9-6 overall and 6-3 at home in season-opening games in the Syljebeck era.
Tomorrow evening's contest will tipoff at 5:00 p.m., EST and can be followed via live stats and video. Saint fans can also tune into the preseason interviews with coach Syljebeck and a few members from the team at the links provided below.