Nov. 15, 1997
Wildcat Preview Notes
Perretta Approaches 350: Entering the 1997-98 season, head coach Harry Perretta is just three wins shy of 350 as his overall coaching record currently stands at 347-197 (.638). Perretta will reach this milestone at the young age of 41. During the 1994-95 season, Perretta recorded his 300th career win at the age of 39, making him the 17th youngest coach in Division I women's basketball to achieve this milestone.
Over-Seas Experience: Two Wildcats spent portions of this past summer playing ball on a different continent. In early June, junior Jenn Sliwa was a member of the Big East/Nike all-star team that participated in a six-game tour of Denmark and Sweden. The team, coached by Georgetown's Pat Knapp, tallied a 2-4 mark on the tour. For the tour, Sliwa amassed 37 points (6.2 ppg) and 20 rebounds (3.3 rpg). Sophomore guard Lauren Pellicane also gained some international experience this past summer as she played on the People-To-People All-Star Team that toured Sicily, Italy in mid-august.
Adding A Transfer: In addition to the four incoming freshmen recruits, Stephanie Baker, Therese Pennefather, Mimi Riley and Rebecca Stephens, the Wildcats have also added a transfer in Brandi Barnes. Last season as a true freshman, Barnes played at the University of Maryland where she played in 16 games, averaging 2.8 ppg and 1.4 rpg in 11.4 minutes per contest. Barnes will sit out the 1997-98 season due to the transfer and will be eligible to play for the Wildcats in 1998-99.
Australian Pipeline: Last season, Australian native Megan Stewart became the first foreign player to ever play for head coach Harry Perretta and the Wildcats. In her first season, Stewart played in 26 games as a backcourt player scoring 1.2 ppg. It looks as if Stewart has started a trend as Rebecca Stephens joins the team this season, giving Villanova a second Australian on the roster. Stephens comes to the Main Line from Brisbane, QLD, Australia where she starred at John Paul College High School. Stephens is expecting to battle for playing time at the small forward spot.
Making Her Mark: Forward Jenea Skeeters had a sensational freshman season for the Wildcats in 1996-97. The Mishawaka, Ind. native started six of the 28 games she played in averaging 12.8 ppg and 4.0 rpg. Skeeters led the team in points scored with 357, which is the third highest point total by a Villanova freshman in school history. Only Shelly Pennefather's 504 points in 1983-84 and Lisa Angelotti's 365 points in 1984-85, better Skeeters' 357 points. For her efforts last season, Skeeters was named to the Big East Conference All-Rookie Team.
Plenty Of Experience: After being one of the youngest teams in the Big East last season, Villanova will be one of the more experienced teams in the league this year. Besides returning nine lettermen, the Wildcats return 96.9% of their scoring from last season. Only West Virginia, who return all five starters, has more scoring coming back than the Wildcats.