“This is my third year and when I was brought in we were pretty much rebuilding the program,” Nester said. “We’ve put a lot of focus on a lot of behind the scenes details to get our program going in the right direction and I feel this team is the best overall team I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
The Lady Petrels do have three of their top five scorers from last season back in Ali Bleckley, Gabby Cole and Emily Buck, who are all just sophomores. Oglethorpe has two more sophomores on the roster, one senior and six freshmen.
Center Sarah Giles, who led the team in scoring with nearly 12 points a game last season, graduated and Kalin Williams (11.4 points per game) is no longer with the team.
“I’m really comfortable with the team even though we are inexperienced,” Nester said.
This group of Lady Petrels have plans of rebounding from a 5-21 overall record and a 3-11 mark in Southern Athletic Association play.
“The big key to getting more wins this season is experience,” Nester said. “Last year was a tough year overall from a win-loss record standpoint but 80 percent of our minutes were played by freshmen.
“I think a lot of our young kids were thrown into the fire per se and they got a lot of experience going through that adversity,” Nester said. “I think just being in it and going through it is going to improve our team this year.”
In spite of its sub-.500 record last season, Oglethorpe was first in defensive field-goal percentage and blocked shots, and second in forced turnovers and steals in the conference.
The Lady Petrels will start the season on the road against Wesleyan and will host Emory in their home opener on Nov. 20.