New coach leads UTA women into new season, new conference

Posted Thursday, Nov. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information UT Arlington at Houston Baptist 7 p.m. Friday, Sharp Gymnasium, Houston

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The UT Arlington women’s basketball team will look to start its season on the right track Friday on the road against Houston Baptist. The Mavericks went 7-23 last season and a 4-14 in the Western Athletic Conference, but they turn the page as a new member of the revamped Sun Belt Conference.

UTA’s clean slate this season also includes new coach Krista Gerlich, who makes her debut after seven seasons at West Texas A&M.

“We’re working to instill new traditions and new philosophies with this team,” Gerlich said. “It’s fun to try to build something, and with the commitment that UTA has shown with the new facilities, it’s great to be a part of new, higher expectations surrounding the program.”

Gerlich will look to the four seniors to provide leadership, including Desherra Nwanguma and Laila Suleiman, who led the Mavs in scoring last season.

But there has been a youthful injection of local talent as well. True freshman forward Allyson Te’o, a two-time all-district performer at Keller Fossil Ridge, has come a long way since practices started this summer.

“[Te’o] plays with such strength, and that’s one of the hardest parts of the transition from the high school game to the college game,” Gerlich said. “She’s going to get her minutes, and her ceiling is really high. I’m looking for great things from her in the next four years.”

Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sharp Gym in Houston. UTA’s home opener is scheduled for Thursday at the College Park Center against Incarnate Word.

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