Gramblinite staff With five returning seniors, the Lady Tigers anticipate a winning season and a SWAC championship. The ladies finished last season with a record of 11-17, and went 7-11 in conference. “Our goal is to reclaim our legacy. Last year we had a lot of turmoil, but this year we want to take the ladies to a higher level of playing”, said head coach Rusty Ponton. This year with returning seniors Senora Cole, Dominique Headd, Destiny Thompson, Victoria Handy, and Lacey Cormier’, the ladies plan to carry their team to the top, taking them from last year’s rank of number 7 in the conference to number 1. Center Lacey Cormier, a native of New Orleans, is a two-time All SWAC defender, and one of three Lady Tigers who made the ’05-’06 All SWAC preseason second team, averaging 7.7 points per game, 8.2 steals per game, and 2.6 blocks per game. Captains Senora Cole of Baton Rouge, and Dominique Headd of Chicago, also received accolades for making the SWAC preseason second team. Cole averaged 13 ppg, and 2.3spg. Headd averaged 8.4 ppg, and 5.1rpg. The team had little social time outside of basketball during preseason conditioning, rising out of their beds at four in the morning to be on the track and in the gym for nearly two-hour sessions. “About twenty percent of the girls aren’t where we want them to be right now, but we will definitely have them there before the season starts”, said Ponton. “The expectations are high, so each day is a progression towards reaching our goals,” said Assistant Coach Bo Bivens. Along with preparing for a winning season, the team has been recognized for having the highest GPA among all of the athletic teams on campus. “I am honored and very proud,” says Ponton. For the last four years we’ve had the highest GPA on campus, and it is an award that our young ladies have accomplished,” Bivens said. “That is what being an athlete is all about. We want them to excel in class as well as on the court, those are the standards for women’s basketball, and it just confirms that we are taking care of business.” “It doesn’t feel as if were doing something special, that is how it is supposed to be. We are students first, then athletes, so we aim high,” said Thompson. The ladies will travel quite often once the season begins, but they will continue to try to maintain the highest GPA, and the coaches will continue to push them by holding hourly study halls, and accommodating those who need tutors while traveling. In order to have a winning season, the ladies and the coaches felt the need to set goals both individually, and as a team. Headd said, “we’ve gotten stronger and are more experienced, therefore we as individuals can contribute more.” The ladies believe that they will need to sacrifice their own needs and meet the needs of their teammates when on the court. “We must know our roles,” said Cormier. The team looks forward to playing teams such as, Mississippi Valley, Louisiana Tech, Southern, and Alabama State. Their season will open against Morehead State in the Eastern Michigan Tournament in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Nov. 17. Before the game, the team meats in the captain’s room if they’re on the road, and in the locker room when playing at home to discuss how many points, steels, and turnovers they will allow their opponents. “Lady Tiger fans can definitely look forward to a more productive and aggressive team this year,” said Cole.