102 Years of Mountaineers
2000-2001 campaign marked the second century of women's basketball at Mansfield
Although accounts of women playing basketball on the campus of Mansfield
State Normal School date back to 1896, it was not until the winter of 1900 the
first team was organized.
Under the direction of Edith Lownsberry -- the
women's gymnastics instructor who was the first head coach and star player --
Mary Clohessey, Erie Potter, Margaret Nye, Julie Fitzpatrick and Maud Garbett
became the first women's athletic team in school history.
Mansfield continued to field a team and play outside competition until
1905 with the advent of intramural games between graduating classes. Except for
brief forays in intercollegiate competition in the 1920s and 30s, intramural
play was the only offered for women.
In 1946 Helen Dieffenbach Lutes arrived on campus as the director of
women's physical education. Under Lutes, the Women's Athletic Association
provided basketball competition with as many as 120 women participating.
In the fall of 1975-76, the student-government funded women's basketball
as a varsity sport with intercollegiate competition under head coach Sharon
Since then, five players have been inducted into the Mansfield University
Athletic Hall of Fame -- the highest honor a student-athlete can achieve at
Alicia Hamerla was the star of the '70s. A four-year starter, Hamerla
played in 50 of the first 51 games in the modern era of Mountaineer women's
basketball. Donna Kukura was a four-year starter in the early 1980s, becoming
the program's first All-PSAC selection in 1982 and graduated as the school's
all-time points and assists leaders.
Sue Sutton played on some of the most successful
teams in school history during the late 1970s and early 1980s before a knee
injury ended her career. Glenda Oswald was inducted into the Hall of Fame in
1999. A starter in school record 106 straight games from 1989-92, Oswald still
ranks among top five in both career scoring and rebounding. Beth Guiliani was
inducted with the Class of 2002 and still ranks fifth in school history with
1,084 points. Guiliani was a two-time All-PSAC East selection and PSAC East
Rookie of the Year during her career.
Since 1982, Mountaineer players have been named to
All-PSAC honors 20 times. Glenda Oswald, Paula Olesky, Tina Craig, Beth Guiliani
and Kathy Murphy were all two-time all-conference selections while Donna Kukura,
Lisa Sherman, Sondra Tracy, Denise Pitcher, Karen Blumer, Becky Dutko, Jennifer
Nichols, Lynelle Mosley and Alison Tagliaferri have been selected once.
Today, the Mansfield University women's basketball
program is building a foundation for a better future. Under fourth year head
coach Ruth Henderson, five different players have earned PSAC Rookie of the Week
honors twelve times in the past three seasons and the caliber and skill levels
of incoming players continues to grow.
Mansfield is a member of the Pennsylvania State
Athletic Conference, one of the largest and most competitive NCAA Division II
conferences in the nation. The conference annually produces some of the highest
quality women's basketball players in Division II.
MU is also affiliated with the Eastern College
Athletic Conference (ECAC). A voluntary association of more than 265 colleges
and universities throughout New England, the Middle Atlantic States, the
District of Columbia, Virginia and North Carolina.