This is part two of a two-part season preview on the Bryant women's basketball team's upcoming season.
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – As the 2018-19 season approaches, the post players on the Bryant University women's basketball team are prepping for another successful year in the paint.
Sydney Holloway (Morgantown, W. Va.) was the most dominate force on the Bryant roster last year as she was the only player in the Northeast Conference to average a double double. This stat ranked her among the top 20 in the country with 18 total double doubles last season. Holloway was no stranger to the national rankings as she also placed sixth in free throw attempts with 248, ninth in free throws made with 178, and 17 in rebounds per game with an average of 10.8.
"She will have a huge target on her back because she put up good numbers with scoring and rebounding," said Head Coach Mary Burke. "She has really earned the reputation of a quality player in the league, one of the top 5. The targets is going to be bigger, which means more expectations, higher attention drawn."
Hannah Scanlan (Rumson, N.J.) is another dominant force down low for the Bulldogs as Scanlan had a standout rookie season. She appeared in all 30 games making starts in 27 of them. Scanlan scored a career-high of 27 points in her NEC debut against Wagner and was one rebound short of her first double double. The sophomore also leads the team in blocked shots with a total of 27.
"Last year she struggled a little bit in the first semester figuring out the level of intensity, quality of players at this level, and physicality. She came into her own a little bit during the NEC schedule, which is the most important time. We have high expectations for Hannah. She has to really continue to take steps forward and blossom into the player that we know she can be at this level." Coach Burke says that, like Holloway, Scanlan will also have a target on her back. "When people talk about Bryant and their best chances of beating us, they are going to talk about her. So, it will be very different for her because she has a big target on her back."
Scanlan's teammates Julia Kelner (Fayetteville, N.Y.) and Brooke Bjelko (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) also return on the blocks. Both players contributed solid minutes for the Black and Gold as they both averaged a little under 10 minutes a night. Coach Burke says that both players will improve this season by just having one year under their belt. Burke also emphasizes that both players are mobile which fits well in her system, as she likes her posts with the ability to run the floor.
Trinity Bravo (Brideport, Conn.) is the only new face in the paint this year as she makes her rookie debut this season. Bravo is a multi-dimensional player from Kolbe Cathedral who was named All-Conference, All-State and one of the Top 25 Girls to Watch.
"In our league, a forward is more guard oriented – can take it off the dribble, has guard skills but is more aggressive, and has the athleticism to rebound. Trinity fills that roll for us."
The Bryant post players will be on full display on Tuesday Nov. 6 at UMass Lowell for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Bulldogs play their first game at Chace on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. against in-state rival Brown. To purchase tickets to a Bryant women's basketball home game, click HERE.