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MCCC 2018-19 Women’s Basketball Season Preview
11/29/18


The 2018-19 MCCC Lady Vikings

WEST WINDSOR, NJ– When you have a history of success, a three-game losing streak to start the 2018-19 basketball season is a drop in the bucket. After narrowly dropping games to Sullivan County College (Nov. 3 and Nov. 13) and Erie Community College (Nov. 4), the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Lady Vikings found their footing with a 58-51 win over Essex County College (NJ)on Nov. 20.

The victory was indicative of the larger theme of hard work and perseverance preached by Head Coach Michael Tenaglia. Tenaglia, who is entering his 29th season at Mercer, has recorded nearly 400 victories with the Vikings, and is hoping to continue the winning ways of the women’s program with an eager crop of student athletes.

“We have a track record of success in this program,” Tenaglia said, drawing from a particular stretch from 1999 to 2010 when the Vikings rattled off five straight Region 19 titles. He added, “This team has an opportunity to advance to the tournament as long as we close out our games and finish down the stretch.”

Though Tenaglia has plenty of basketball knowledge to impart to his team, his background as a multisport athlete and coach adds diversity to his training style. In the 1970s, Tenaglia played four years of soccer, two years of lacrosse and a season of baseball for the West Chester University Golden Rams.

Tenaglia said that having a diverse background adds to his understanding of the competitive nature of sports. Still, he noted, basketball is his sport of choice. “You can put your fingerprint on the game of basketball in a way that you just can’t in football or baseball.”

This season, the Lady Vikings are looking to expand that fingerprint and capitalize on the team’s forward momentum after beating Essex. Tylisha Livingston, a sophomore forward, is the team’s captain and is affectionately nicknamed “Country” for her easy-going temperament.

Livingston is averaging 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds through Mercer’s first four games, the highlight of which was a 26-point outing against Sullivan on Nov. 13.

Mercer has also gotten healthy contributions from Morgan Papp, a sophomore forward, and Darnella McMillan, a freshman guard. Papp is among the team’s leaders in assists, while McMillan leads the Lady Vikings in steals per game.

Despite rounding off the team with a roster capable of rising to the challenge, Tenaglia is prepared for a tough season. “Lackawanna, Union and Harcum are the teams to beat, with one of the three winning the regional tournament in each of the last three seasons,” he said. “Like us, these teams have a history of success that dates back to the 1990s, so we can’t take them lightly.”

Having notched its first win last week, Mercer plays its next home game against Bucks County Community College on Saturday Dec. 1 at noon.

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