October 30, 2007

Terps women look to the future

Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper spent part of the summer in France and Russia playing for the gold medal-winning U21 USA National Team; Marissa Coleman helped the USA's Pan American Games team to a gold medal in Brazil; and Kristi Toliver went to point guard college.

The Terps four returning starters traveled the globe and had vastly different experiences, but their summers all shared common traits - hard work and a desire to fulfill the team's immense potential. Maryland went 28-6 last season, but it wasn't enough for a team that returned five starters from the 2006 national championship squad.

"We had the talent to win it again," Coleman said. "Everybody knew that. We knew that. I think the fact we knew it, that is what stopped us last year. It was a learning experience. We know we can't approach a season like we did last year ever again."

With a greater sense of appreciation for the difficulty a championship run takes, maturity was one of the buzz words as the 2007-08 Terrapins were unveiled at the team's annual media day event on Monday.

"The maturity level has gone up infinitely," Toliver said. "Our leadership and our maturity has stepped up from all of us. We know what to expect now and with our seniors, it's their last year here and they don't want to leave anything on the court."

What has most encouraged Frese is the standard set by her returning stars, all of whom are honors candidates.

"I look at our four returning starters," coach Brenda Frese said. "I look at the leadership of Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper. Marissa Coleman dedicated herself in the weight room and she is in the best shape of her life and Kristi Toliver. I think those four have really set the tone for how hard we are going to work. When they are your best players it really improves what you are able to do (when they are the hardest workers)."

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