Nov. 11, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State women’s basketball team will see its first action of the season when the Seminoles host Athletes In Action in exhibition action Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.
“We’re excited to get out on the court and see what we have and work with some different combinations,” FSU head coach Sue Semrau said. “We’re playing a really strong team with a lot of experience. This will give our players, who haven’t had a lot of court time, an opportunity to get that experience.”
Florida State returns eight letterwinners and welcomes four freshmen to the squad. Tuesday’s starting line up will be a mix of youth and experience. Rookie Holly Johnson will get the nod at point guard while sophomore Linnea Liljestrand will be making just her second career start at guard. Returning starters Tasheika Morris and Katelyn Vujas will also be in the line up while senior Trinetta Moore, who started eight games last season, will occupy the middle.
“Our whole backcourt is relatively young,” Semrau said. “Holly (Johnson) has not played in a collegiate game and Linnea (Liljestrand) really didn’t get that much playing time last season and for Tasheika (Morris), this is her debut as a guard. I’m excited to see our team start to develop.”
Johnson is probably the purest floor general that FSU has had since Semrau’s arrival. A 2002 Parade third team All-American and Gatorade’s Arizona Girls Basketball Player of the Year, she is a versatile athlete who led her basketball and volleyball teams to state championship titles last season.
“I’m really excited,” Johnson said. “It’s a big step. Right now, I’m very excited but I am sure when it gets closer to game time, I will be a little nervous. It’s going to be eventful. I’m just happy to be out there playing.”
Athletes in Action will enter Tuesday’s game with a 3-6 record with wins over Murray State, Wright State and Georgia Southern. ACC-foe North Carolina edged AIA 77-74 on November 6th. The team’s leading scorer is 6-1 guard/forward Katie Voigt, a player Semrau coached while at Wisconsin. She’s a solid shooter who has been playing overseas the last four or five years. Other notable members of the team include Katrena Carr, a 5-10 guard out of Penn State, and 6-4 center Sarah Zawodny, who graduated from Marquette in 2002.
According to Semrau, Athletes In Action is a very smart team and it will be a good mental challenge as well as a physical challenge for the Seminoles, who are ready to play.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since we started practice last month,” Moore, a co-captain, said. “I’m ready to get out there and put my all out onto the court. I feel like our team is prepared. We just got to go through the game and see where we’re at and what we still need to do. It will be nice to play against someone other than our scout team, but I like playing against each other, because we make each other better.”
FSU will be without the services of sophomore guard LaQuinta Neely who has been slowed by cellulites in her right foot. She is on antibiotics and trainers expect it will be cleared up in about a week.
Athletes In Action Schedule/Results (3-6) 10/31 def. Murray State, 73-54 11/1 lost to Vanderbilt, 79-73 11/2 def. Wright State, 74-64 11/3 lost to Michigan State, 83-72 11/4 lost to Louisville, 88-67 11/6 lost to North Carolina, 77-74 11/7 lost to UNC-Wilmington, 70-59 11/8 lost to South Carolina, 94-61 11/9 def. Georgia Southern, 84-70 11/12 FLORIDA STATE 11/13 Troy State 11/14 UAB 11/15 UT-Chattanooga 11/17 Auburn 11/18 Memphis 11/19 Arkansas