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It's the second weekend in December that officially kicks off the girls varsity basketball season with the 11th annual Lady Vikings Tip-Off Tournament this Friday and Saturday.

Bottom, l-r: Michelle Kornblau, Danielle Gil, Lindsay Levin, Aly English. Middle, l-r: Molly Catchen, Patty Borzon, Sarah Walsh, Deirdre O'Connor. Top row, l-r: Paris Michel, Lisa Vogeley, Coach Joannon.

The 2000-2001 season should be an exciting one for the Lady Vikings, but this season you may have to look a little longer at the team roster as the team boasts seven new members on the 10-player squad. Coach Stephanie Joannon looks at the season ahead with great optimism. "The girls have shown such great passion to play and even though we are young on paper the team has been working so hard and learning every day that one can't help but be excited at the upcoming season."

Returning for the Lady Vikings is junior point guard Sarah Walsh. A two-time All-County Selection and beginning her fourth year as varsity starter, the team will rely heavily on her experience, leadership and exceptional skill. Says Joannon, "Sarah worked very hard in the off season weight training, running and playing a tremendous amount of basketball. She came back in great shape and a more confident player. That is saying a lot since she has been a top player for us every year. It will be very exciting to watch her."

Also returning are sophomores Lisa Vogeley and Deirdre O'Connor. Both girls played on the same AAU team this summer where they honed their skills and gained a wealth of experience. "Lisa has become a much stronger player under the basket, developing moves and finishing her shots while becoming an incredible rebounder. We're expecting big things from Lisa this season and she seems ready for that challenge." "Deirdre gained invaluable experience playing over the summer, became confident in her shooting and became a much better defender that will help us tremendously this season."

Rounding out the roster that has no seniors are six players from the last year's junior varsity; juniors Molly Catchen and Patty Borzon, sophomores Paris Michel and Lindsay Levin and freshmen Danielle Gil and Michelle Kornblau. Eighth grader Aly English rounds out the team that played in the Super League at the Island Garden this fall where they began playing together as a head start to the season.

The Lady Vikings Tip-Off Tournament begins on Friday with Carle Place vs. Sewanhaka and Port Washington vs. Division at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the consolation game will be at noon and the championship game will be at 2 p.m. Admission is free!


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