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High expectation

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JOHN N. BARRY
November 2, 2007
— UW-Whitewater women’s basketball coach Keri Carollo is expecting big things from the Warhawks this season.

But she might not be around to see how it unfolds.


Carollo and her husband, Joe, are expecting their second child in January. The Warhawks will be in the thick of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule by then, but they’re likely to be without their sixth-year coach.


“It’s going to be an interesting year from that aspect,” Carollo said of the pregnancy. “We’re excited. Our girls are excited about it. And my husband and I are extremely excited to have a boy, and so we’ll have one of each now.


“Luckily, I have a great staff, and they’re not concerned at all. They’re ready to take it on if I have to leave for a little while and have our child.”


Carollo’s assistant coaches are Amy Zelinger and Pete Von Allmen, who won two WIAA Division 1 girls state titles at Hartland Arrowhead. Janesville Parker graduate and former Warhawk star Nya Geschke is on the staff as a graduate assistant.


Whitewater’s expectations are high because of the return of all five starters from a team that went 19-7 last season, including 12-4 in the always-tough WIAC. The Warhawks were on the NCAA Division III tournament bubble before losing at home to UW-Platteville in the first round of the WIAC tournament.


The winning season was only the second in the last seven years, while the 19 wins were the most in a single season since the 1994-95 team went 20-7.


With all the experience, including All-WIAC first-team selection Lindsey Buechner of Middleton, Carollo has set the bar high.


“This season should be exciting for a lot of different reasons,” Carollo said at Thursday’s WIAC men’s and women’s media day at the Kohl Center. “It took us a really long time to turn the corner, but I feel like last year was a start.


“We were picked for seventh in the conference last year and finished in the top four. Now the expectations are higher. We want to not only play at the same level as the top teams in our conference, but nationally as well.”


Whitewater tips off the season Nov. 16 at Millikin University as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament.


WIAC notes
-- Eau Claire, Point favored: UW-Eau Claire received five first-place votes from the sports information directors in being picked to win the WIAC women’s championship. The Blugolds have won eight titles, with the most recent in 2002-03.

Eau Claire returns five starters who accounted for 1,169 of the Blugolds’ 1,725 points a year ago.


Whitewater received two first-place votes and is picked for second.


Defending champion UW-Stevens Point is the preseason favorite of the sports information directors to win the men’s title. The Pointers received eight first-place votes and are coming off a season in which they set an WIAC record for three-point baskets made with 309.


Whitewater received the remaining first-place vote and is picked for second.


The Warhawks have won 18-plus games in each of coach Pat Miller’s six seasons. They have finished fourth or better 18 of the last 19 years.


-- Fick is WIAC’s dean: Whitewater’s Tom Fick is the longest-tenured sports information director in the WIAC. He has been Whitewater’s SID since 1976.

Tim Petermann retired in July after 40 years at UW-Eau Claire.


-- WIAC teams to play Wisconsin:The UW-Eau Claire men’s and the UW-Stout women’s teams will play the University of Wisconsin this year in exhibition games at the Kohl Center.

Stout faces coach Lisa Stone’s Badgers at 1 p.m. Sunday, while Eau Claire takes on Bo Ryan and Bucky at 7 p.m. Wednesday.


-- Three-point line extended: Effective with the 2008-09 season, the three-point distance will be extended one foot to 20 feet, 9 inches in all divisions of men’s collegiate basketball. The rationale is to allow for better court spacing and open up the lane for a more free-flowing game.

The women’s three-point line will remain the same at 19-9.



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