For the seventh season in a row, the Union University Lady Bulldogs will start the season in defense of their conference crown. The last time Union was not the conference champs was back in 1995 when Lipscomb defeated Union for the old TCAC title. Union once again will be the favorite going into the season, with four starters returning from an NAIA National Tournament Final Four team a year ago.
Union will have only two seniors on the roster this season. Allison Harrison and Tashekia Brown have both been starters for the majority of their careers and this season will be no different. Both are great scorers and rebounders and will need to continue their good play down low to lead this group of Lady Bulldogs.
Jessica Henson leads the group of four juniors on this year’s team. Jessica Henson has been named the TranSouth Conference Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons. She is looking to have her best season in 2002-03. Christal Merriweather and Ginger Bryant, both of Jackson, are also major contributors to the Union team. Merriweather is coming off her best season as a Lady Bulldogs and shows no signs of slowing down. Bryant will see a great deal of playing time down low. She will join Brown and Harrison to create excellent depth at the position. Bryant led the Lady Bulldogs in rebounding as a sophomore. Junior walk-on, Julie Paul, joins the squad after helping the past season as a student assistant coach. Paul will see time at the forward position and will improve the play of both her and the team because of her great work ethic and attitude.
This year’s group of four sophomores will be called on the early and often. Laura Davison is back after red-shirting last season. Davison, along with Monica Elliot, are both very quick and will add depth at the point guard position. Miriam Wandanda made great strides in the off season to become a strong post presence. She will continue to improve and will start contributing more and more over the next year. Laura Mitchell, a transfer from the University of Memphis, joins the stable of Lady Bulldog guards and will provide a potent three-point threat.
Two freshmen are listed on this year’s roster; however, only one is new to the group. Red-shirt freshman, Jennifer Henson, finally gets to play for the fans at Union. Jennifer Henson is a great three-point shooter and will be used a great deal as a freshman. Newcomer Peggy McCain comes to Union from Dyer County where she broke their scoring record, held by current Lady Bulldog Laura Davison.
Union head coach, Mark Campbell will be going for his 100th career coaching win early this season. Campbell, after three seasons with the Lady Bulldogs, is 94-17 (.847).
The Lady Bulldogs not only want to successfully defend their TranSouth Conference Championship, they would like to improve on their NAIA Final Four appearance from last season. Campbell and company believe that this is a group of players that can do just that.