Perhaps the turning point for the program was a 62-60 win over nationally-ranked Carleton. Their seventh-place finish in the MIAC was their best finish in the conference since 2002, when they last made the playoffs.
Veteran coach Pat Buresh, in her 19th year, reflected upon her high expectations for the season.
"We have high expectations this year," said Buresh. "We plan on contending for a playoff spot."
Much of the Ole offense will revolve around the play of juniors Christina Sampson and Holly Grimsrud. They averaged 8.7 and 8.9 points per contest last year, respectively.
Also, the Oles look upon a pair of veterans, Natalie Rigelman '06 and Christine Schwichtenberg '06 to provide leadership. Rigelman returns to the team after taking a year off, but Buresh is impressed with her dedication and commitment to the program.
"She [Rigelman] has really made a heavy commitment in the offseason and it has paid off," Buresh said.
Schwictenberg, a three-time defensive player of the year, will likely take up the point guard duties for the Oles. She averaged 5.9 points and 1.8 assists per game a season ago, playing behind Molly Simon, who was lost to graduation.
The Ole women begin their season on the road as they travel to Luther on Nov. 19. After three more non-conference games, they open their MIAC season on Nov. 30 at Augsburg.