Click It Or Ticket

Oct. 25, 2004

by Jonathan Price, UW Media Relations

Six practices into the season, the Washington Women's basketball team held its annual Media Day Oct. 22. Head coach June Daugherty was enthusiastic about her young team when she met with the media.

'When you look at the season, you have to look at the staff and really appreciate what they have done this year in recruiting,' Daugherty said. 'We have some quick, talented young ladies in this program and we are very excited. Systematically we have been working towards getting more of an athletic team over the last three years and our staff has done a great job of evaluating talent and bringing in some good players for the University of Washington. This team is up-tempo because we will run and fast break. We will pressure defense all over the court, and if you were out there today you probably saw all kinds of traps that you probably shouldn't have seen.'

The Huskies have five incoming freshmen, seven players returning from last year's team, and the additions of junior guard Kayla Burt, junior guard Kristen O'Neill and sophomore guard Erica Schelly who used redshirt seasons last year.

Burt sat out last season and served as a student assistant coach. She underwent further medical tests for her heart condition. She tested negatively for Long QT Syndrome and was granted permission by the university to rejoin the team on Aug. 17, 2004. Burt will play the 2004-2005 season with a defibrillator in her chest and has been named team captain alongside O'Neill.

'I won't be coaching her (Kayla) any differently,' Daugherty said. 'If I did, she would beat me up. We are so excited to have her back in the program and I don't think that we can treat her any differently as a coaching staff. It is a really neat feeling to know that Kayla made the decision to play after putting a lot of thought into it with her family. It is amazing the amount of things that she had going on behind the scenes, but she decided what she wanted to do. I think it is amazing and it is really awesome for the University of Washington to allow her to play and fulfill her wish of playing basketball. She is great to have back.'

O'Neill's return is much anticipated as well after suffering a stress fracture injury in her left foot and missing the entire 2003-2004 season. O'Neill was Pac-10 All-Freshman in 2001-02, and was the Huskies' top defensive player her freshman and sophomore seasons.

'Kristen and Kayla are the captains and I think that they would be the first to tell you that they can use all of the help that they can get,' stated Daugherty. 'It is awesome to have them back. It is fun to watch them out there and start getting back into the swing of things.'

Daugherty promises that this year's team will be fast paced and exciting.

'You know that sign on the side of the road that says `Click it or ticket,' well I say `Click it or ticket' to all of our fans and media because I think that you are going to see us get up and down the floor. We have a very athletic team that should produce some very exciting basketball.'

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