PLATTSBURGH — The upcoming season for the Plattsburgh State women’s basketball team is filled with the highest expectations the team has ever faced.
The Cardinals are coming off a season where they reached the SUNYAC semifinals for only the second time in the program’s history. This season Plattsburgh is not just looking for another SUNYAC Tournament appearance, but are set to make a run at a championship title.
“Our goal is to be SUNYAC champions,” Cardinals coach Cheryl Cole said.
Plattsburgh only graduated two seniors from last year’s squad and the core nucleus is back for the upcoming season.
“We brought back the majority of the team. Most of our statistical players have improved and we have brought in a few recruits that have potential,” Cole said. “I think we’re deeper, with more weapons. If we play with the philosophy (of trying to find) the best shot on the floor, I think we’ll be able to surpass what we did last season.”
The Cardinals are led by seniors, Kathleen Payne, Brooke Reifinger and Tequilla Lloyd.
Payne and Reifinger are both four-year players for the Cardinals and will be starting at small forward and shooting guard, respectively. Lloyd is a junior transfer from SUNY Delhi and will be starting at center.
“The experience is very high for our seniors,” Cole said. “With their experience, their constant effort day in and day out, on and off the floor, they know what it’s all about.”
Payne was named preseason All-American by Women’s DIII News. She averaged 15 points , 6.9 rebounds and just fewer than two steals per game a year ago.
“She’s a ridiculous athlete; best player in the conference hands down,” Cole said. “With that being said, it doesn’t mean anything on the floor.