Willamette Women's Basketball Season Outlook

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219 and
Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Intensity, excitement and a fiery vision of success is brewing around the Willamette University women's basketball team as the Bearcats prepare for the start of the 2008-09 season. A group of core players -- including last year's top player, Molly Fillion (Sr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC) -- will combine with returners and a crop of talented freshmen to form a team ready for battle.

Molly and her twin sister Jenny Fillion (Sr., G, Silverton, OR/Silverton HS/Linn-Benton CC) are key members of the team. The Fillion twins will be co-captains for Willamette this season. Molly Fillion was an Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference player last season. She led the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game and in rebounding with 9.6 boards per game. Jenny Fillion averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last year for the 'Cats.

Two sophomores who saw significant playing time as freshmen are expected to continue contributing to the Bearcats' success this season. Alex Zennan (PG, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) averaged 8.1 points and shot nearly 35% from 3-point range. Erin Barclay (G, Snohomish, WA/Bothel Senior HS), who started 20 games in 2007-08 at the point guard position, will join the team for the second semester of 2008-09.

Nicki Clowdsley (So., Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS), a returning center, will provide experience and size inside for the Bearcats. Clowdsley led the team with 16 blocked shots last season and averaged 3.0 rebounds per game.

Kaileigh Westernmann (Post, Belfair, WA/South Kitsap HS) is a freshman form the State of Washington. She will be a driving force in the paint for the Bearcats.

Adding depth at the guard positions will be Tiana Abbley (Fr., G, Honolulu, HI/Kamehameha School) and Danya Jandoc (Fr., PG, Honolulu, HI/Iolani School). Maya McFaddin (Fr., McMinnville, OR/McMinnville HS), will contribute to the Bearcats as a wing player. The freshmen bring a new energy and enthusiasm to the team.

The 2008-09 schedule will challenge the team from the very beginning. The 'Cats open the season at the Colorado State University-Pueblo Tournament on Friday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Nov. 22. On Friday, Willamette will take on host CSU-Pueblo at 5 p.m. (MST). On Saturday, the Bearcats will play New Mexico Highlands University at 1 p.m. (MST). WU then travels to Caldwell, Idaho, to participate in the College of Idaho Tournament on Nov. 28-29.

WU will play its first home games of the season on Dec. 4 against Warner Pacific College and on Dec. 9 against Corban College. After facing Corban, the 'Cats will play in the Oregon Tech Tournament before opening the Northwest Conference portion of the schedule at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., on Jan. 2, 2009.

The Bearcats, who finished 5-20 last year (3-13 in the NWC), are ready to compete in an NWC race that has no clear-cut favorite this season. The 'Cats are prepared to play high quality basketball and have success in 2008-09.

Molly Fillion led WU with 13.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game last season.

Molly Fillion led WU with 13.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game last season.

Jenny Fillion averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 boards per game in 2008-09

Jenny Fillion averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 boards per game in 2008-09