Lexington, Ky. – Transylvania women's basketball head coach Juli Fulks has announced the incoming freshman class for the 2017-18 season, along with the upcoming season schedule.
A resurgent team coming off a conference tournament championship appearance welcomes a group of six talented freshman, all with unique athleticism and complementary skill sets which will add to a veteran-laden roster this fall.
"Our incoming class is an exciting group of players who will add depth and skill to our roster at every position," said Fulks. "They had great high school careers and their work ethic and drive for success will complement our team culture well."
Along with an exciting group that will comprise the Class of 2021, the Pioneers have unfurled a compelling 2017-2018 season schedule which will include 13 regular-season home dates, and a trip to the New York metropolitan area.
"This is an exciting schedule, which features severally nationally-ranked teams and a trip to NYC during the holidays," added Fulks. "Our goal is to continue challenging our players while also finding unique opportunities to educate them through travel and off the court experiences."
Having featured no seniors on their 2016-17 squad, the Pioneers return the majority of their lineup for the season ahead. These six incoming freshmen join forces with a team that posted a formidable 20-8 record last year, culminating in a third-place regular season finish in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, and a runner-up finish in the conference tournament title game.
Transylvania Women's Basketball CLASS OF 2021
Delaney Cullen, Guard, Medina, Ohio
The 5-foot-10 guard from Medina High School is a versatile and lanky combo guard who played both the point guard and shooting guard positions in high school. Her versatility will augment a program that at times has played positionless basketball at high efficiency. Cullen's style of play is a natural fit for a team that ranked top-three nationally in three-pointers made and top-10 in three-point percentage. Cullen left Medina as the program's all-time leader for career three-pointers made.
Elizabeth Hardiman, Center, Winchester, Kentucky
The local product immediately adds size and strength to a team that played small and fast in 2016-17. Hardiman comes to the Pioneers from George Rogers Clark High School where she excelled in both volleyball and women's basketball. Hardiman will compete in both sports at Transylvania. Central to the basketball court, Hardiman arrives off completing a stellar run in 2016-17 with the Cardinals. In her final run at George Rogers Clark, the team roared to a 30-5 record and an appearance in the KHSAA State Tournament Elite 8 round.
Kaitlyn Johnson, Forward, Somerset, Kentucky
An incoming freshman from Somerset High School, Johnson is another versatile piece of Fulks's 2021 class. A 5-10 guard, Johnson's positions ranged from center to shooting guard in high school. One quality that did not oscillate was her penchant for scoring in high doses. Johnson graduated from Somerset this spring surpassing the 1,000-point mark for her high school career. Having led Somerset to its first district title in 17 years this past winter, Johnson arrives to a perpetually winning program at Transylvania where she aims to provide leadership and "an encouraging spirit."
Miranda Otero, Forward, Brook Park, Ohio
Otero makes the journey to Lexington from Berea-Midpark High School, 15 miles southwest of Cleveland. Like her new peer in Hardiman, Otero provides significant size at 6-foot-2 and a winning formula. Her high school exploits illustrate an aptitude for rebounding and defense. In her final high school season, Otero averaged 12.5 rebounds per game while taking her team to the Ohio Division I regional finals. Citing local pro Kevin Love as her favorite athlete, Otero will bring the Pioneers an analogous presence on the boards and a defensive presence that should bode accordingly with a team that ranked third in conference in scoring defense last season.
Alorra Sims, Guard, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
A common component of the incoming Transylvania women's basketball recruiting class is playmaking. The addition of Sims heightens the potential of that being the case. The Anderson County High School graduate had a solid all-around season that culminated in the second round of regional play. An All-Region selection her senior year, Sims is regarded as an offensive creator who can enhance the play of others around her when she steps onto the floor.
Zenoviah Walker, Guard, Danville, Kentucky
In the case of the final member of the 2017 recruiting class, Walker equals speed. The 5-foot-3 guard brings a speed and personality from Danville High School, whose team went 18-9 and made it to the district tournament last winter. Both a track and field and basketball star in high school, Walker is known for handling tough assignments on defense and neutralizing those foes. The shortest of the six incoming players, Walker also held her own on the boards last season at Danville, snaring four rebounds a game to prove her value in multiple departments.
The Transylvania women's basketball schedule features its customary slate of 18 HCAC games, highlighted by six home contests in the month of January. From January 13 through the 24th, the Pioneers will play four consecutive home games against HCAC competition, beginning with Manchester University.
Transylvania will complete the regular season with five of seven games away at home, with a home game against Anderson on Saturday, February 18 to cap off matters.
The Pioneers tipoff the season with an eclectic array of games, beginning with a November 19 game at Marietta College.
Transylvania returns home the following weekend after Thanksgiving to host the Pat Deacon Classic; Transylvania welcomes Otterbein to the Beck Center on Saturday, November 25, and will play either Westminster or Maryville the following day based on day one results.
Transylvania's travels will take the squad to the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area as its nonconference portion winds down in mid-December.
Step one of the journey will pit the Pioneers against the Montclair State University Red Devils of the New Jersey Athletic Conference. The December 18 matchup between Transylvania and Montclair State could pose arguably the toughest challenge of the year against a team that went 26-3 last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 48 hours later, the Pioneers will venture to Newburgh, New York to visit the Mount Saint Mary College Knights to complete their trip along the Hudson River.
An ambitious and scenic schedule awaits the Pioneers, who have a deep roster and are ready to test their mettle in 2017-18.
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