PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 2017-18 season has been a very successful one so far for the Villanova University women’s basketball team.
The Wildcats are off to a 5-0 start and one of their wins came over then #11 Duke back on November 19th, 64-55. This success has not gone unnoticed as this week the Wildcats are ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2004, coming in at #25.
“I think it’s good because it shows that you’re making progress back again and you’re trying to fight your way back up the ladder again,” Villanova head coach Harry Perretta says of being ranked. “It’s tough, there’s so many good schools out there and there’s so many good BCS schools out there that it’s tough to get yourself back up there.”
While this is their first appearance in the AP Top 25 since ’04, it should be noted the Wildcats have made appearances in the Coaches Poll since then, most recently during the 2012-13 season.
Perretta talks about the players powering their early-season success.
“I think out starting five, or starting six, we have like six top players and they have really made it happen,” he says. “They’re the ones that have the experience from last year [when Villanova advanced to the WNIT semifinals]. [Senior guards] Adrianna Hahn, Alex Louin, [guard] Kelly Jekot now is a sophomore, [forward] Mary Gedaka is a sophomore, [center] Megan Quinn’s a fifth-year senior and [junior guard/forward] Jannah Tucker. Those six players have been our more experienced players and they are the ones that have made it happen and the kids have kind of filled in the gaps.”
Hahn leads the team in scoring at 14.2 ppg. Jekot averages 13.2 a night. Louin leads the team in rebounding (7.0 a game) and assists with 17.
The next challenge for the Wildcats will come on Wednesday night when they meet perennial Ivy League power Princeton.
“Very much like us,”Perretta says. “Much more experienced than last year when we played them in the WNIT. It was a close game and they had some kids hurt [Villanova won 59-53]. They have those kids back. So two similar teams.”
Princeton is 3-1 heading into Wednesday night’s 5:30pm start.