Two years ago the Radcliffe basketball team came home from the Ivy League Tournament with an 0-5 record. Last year, they again trooped home winless, at 0-3.
Well, believe it or not, this year it's going to be very different. The 10-2 'Cliffe hoopsters may very well return from Philadelphia on Monday with the Tournament crown from this third edition of the Ivy Championship.
First-year coach Carole Kleinfelder has made the drastic turnaround in so short a time with the help of some very talented freshmen. The dynamic duo of Karyn Curry and Ellen Hart are the freshmen ball-handlers who have provided the Radcliffe scoring punch.
Junior Kathy Fulton, the team captain, has performed solidly all year while doing a more than admirable job as the team's spiritual leader.
But the real story lies up front. If the Crimson can get more rebounding from centers Sue Hewitt, Beth Craig and newly-added junior varsity middle person, Leslie Greis, the women will be in a strong position to go all the way.
Radcliffe opens Friday night against an 8-5 Pennsylvania team. Coach Kleinfelder said if the women can get by Penn (and she expects they will) they should make the finals. Psychologically, the Quakers hold a strong homecourt advantage, but they will have to deal with a new 1-3-1 Radcliffe press that Kleinfelder has installed especially for the tournament.
Other Friday night match-ups include Princeton (8-5) against Dartmouth (4-6), Cornell (0-3) against Yale (9-3 and 4-0 in the Ivies), and Brown (4-6) against Barnard (2-5).
The two powerhouses besides Radcliffe, Yale and Princeton, will probably emerge victorious from this round and meet each other on Saturday. Yale upset the previously "never-beaten-in-the-Ivy-League" Tigers, 46-45 last week.
So this matchup, with Princeton revenge hanging thick in the air, should be a furious one. Princeton's 6-ft. 7-in. Margaret Meier will bring a 14.6-point average and her teammate C.B. Tomaswiewicz (16.6 point average) to the Palestra in search of sweet revenge and the Tournament title.
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