BY JEFF FALK
The cast is different. But the director and story line are pretty much the same.
The Lebanon Valley College women’s basketball program’s production of ‘2011-12″ opened to rave reviews on Tuesday night at the LVC Gymnasium in Annville. The Flying Dutchmen, the ninth-ranked Division Three team in the country, were impressive in disposing of Marywood, 60-45.
Lebanon Valley started its season with a 13-2 run and never looked back. Junior guard Tierney Hiltz scored five points in that opening run, as The Valley opened a number of 12-point cushions in the first 20 minutes of action.
Hiltz and Caitlin Murphy finished with 14 points apiece, while freshman guard Kiely Chaklos contributed 10 points and six assists. In addition, Hiltz posted five steals.
Already up comfortably at the break, Lebanon Valley opened the second half with a 6-0 burst. The Flying Dutchmen’s advantage reached 49-29.
LVC shot 58 percent from the floor.
In 2010-11, Lebanon Valley went 28-3 on its way to the Commonwealth Conference title and an appearance in the NCAA Division Three Elite Eight. While the ninth-ranked team nationally, the Flying Dutchmen were picked to finish second to Messiah in the conference, in a vote of the circuit’s coaches.
Lebanon Valley will attempt to fill the huge void left by the departure of point guard Andrea Hoover, one of the top women’s basketball players to ever lace up the sneakers for the Flying Dutchmen.
Also gone to graduation is Suzie Noyes, but Lebanon Valley returns 11 letter-winners, five of whom saw significant playing time last year.