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Wilmington College, 2004 Women’s NCAA Division III National Champions

Wilmington College

Women’s NCAA Division III National Champions

FRONT ROW (L-R) – Flor Chum, Kelly Peters, Erica Smith, Nicole Koenig, Courtney Balser, Brittney Morris, Emily Cummins, Tara Rausch, Amy Kincer, Siobhan Zerilla, Amy Eichner, Abby Newhouse, Katie Newman, Sam Hood, Kara Robinson
BACK ROW – Head Coach Jerry Scheve, Assistant Coach Shari Stauffer, Trainer Linda Tecklenberg, Student Trainer John Haggerty, Melissa Headley, Kristin McAlarney, Stephanie Schwartz, Tiffani Glaser, Britni Lakas, Shawna Thomas, Chasity Poling, Tricia Erford, Lauren Pauley, Alyss Hart, Amanda Jones, Student Manager Jenny Andrea, Student Assistant Coach Lisa Zimpfer, Assistant Coach Bill Newland, Assistant Coach Scott Reule

Wilmington College’s Lady Quakers didn’t look like a team capable of winning a national championship when they finished the 2003-04 regular season with an 18-6 record.

Looks can be deceiving. Coach Jerry Scheve’s team caught fire at tournament time and won nine straight games to grab the 2004 NCAA Division III National Championship.

It seemed that the Lady Quakers found new heroes every night. They stormed through the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament with victories over Muskingum, Capital (which had beaten them twice) and Otterbein, a team that conquered them 10 days earlier.

In the NCAA tournament they knocked off Albion, Franklin, Thomas More, and Puget Sound to reach the Final Four at Norfolk, Va. In the semifinal game, senior center Tara Rausch scored 35 points as Wilmington beat Rochester (N.Y.), 74-63.

Bowdoin (Maine) brought a 30-0 record into the championship game, but the Lady Quakers came from behind late to upset the favorites, 58-51, as freshman point guard Sam Hood made a clutch 3-point shot. Hood had 13 assists and one turnover at the Final Four. Rausch and Amy Kincer made the all-tournament team.