NIU looks to get ‘jitters’ out in opener

By Alex Gary

Even though tonight’s game against Slovan Bratislava of Czechoslovakia is only an exhibition, the NIU women’s basketball team will still be going all out.

“We’ll definitely be looking to win,” NIU women’s head coach Jane Albright-Dieterle said.

Albright-Dieterle said her starting lineup for this game will be seniors Tiana Burkholder, Dianna Wingis, Cindy Conner and Debbie Teske plus junior E.C. Hill.

Albright-Dieterle also said that she will use the game to try out a lot of different player combinations but she won’t lose sight of the goal, which is to win.

“We want to use this game to get rid of pre-season jitters and to be in a competitive situation,” Albright-Dieterle said. “But we are not going to put people on the floor just so they’ll play.”

For Slovan Bratislava, this is the second stop on a nine-city Midwest tour. Monday night the Czechs traveled to Champaign, only to lose 109-72 to Illinois.

NIU assistant coach Shelly Davis said the Czechs will present a problem for NIU because of their size.

“They have five players over 6’2″,” Davis said. “Rebounding will be a problem, but if we box out, it doesn’t matter how tall they are.”

One highlight of the evening will be at halftime when the Huskie team members receive their rings for participating in the 1992 NCAA Tournament.

All 13 of the players from last year’s team, including then-seniors Dee Dee Jeske and Tracy Mondek, will be on hand to get the rings.

This is the second ring presentation in three years for the women’s program.

“It’s a time when we can hold our heads up high and be proud,” Albright-Dieterle said. “We want to make this a tradition for NIU.”

Three current members, Tiana Burkholder, Debbie Teske and Julie Gainer, will be receiving their second rings. Each was a freshman in 1989-90, the first time NIU made the tournament.

“The first time (we made the tournament) was very exciting, I wore (the ring) all the time,” Gainer said. “But the second year was even better because we had a tough year last year and

still made (the NCAAs).”