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Thomer’s debut season could be memorable at Notre Dame

Notre Dame Division I-bound senior guards Maggie Pina, left, and Mandy McGurk (11) give new coach Lauren Thomer reason for optimism.
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A new era is under way at Academy of Notre Dame.

Lauren Thomer replaces Mary Beth McNichol, who was one of the winningest coaches in Delaware County history. McNichol is now the head coach at Neumann University in Aston.

Thormer has 10 years of college coaching experience, most recently at Manhattan College and Yale. A Philadelphia native, Thomer played collegiate ball at Rider University.

The Irish are led by their two Division I bound senior guards, All-Delco Mandy McGurk (Penn) and Maggie Pina (Boston University). Emma Kichula (forward) and Caitlin Mullen (guard) also return to the starting lineup for Notre Dame, which finished 15-11 last season.

Elsewhere in the Inter-Ac League:

Episcopal Academy welcomes back senior guard Olivia Dirks, junior guard Cara Harty and junior forward Raeleen Keffer-Scharpf on a team that went 12-12 last winter. Dirks earned Daily Times Girls Soccer Player of the Year honors this fall.

EA is 1-1 in the early going this season.

Chuck Simmonds has begun his 15th season as head coach of the Churchwomen.

“We will be working to find consistency from a group that will be emerging into larger roles and newcomers that will be given an opportunity to contribute,” Simmonds said.

Bicentennial League

The Christian Academy made history last season. The Crusaders enjoyed a 19-10 campaign, highlighted by a trip to the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class A tournament.

Four-year starter and senior guard Grace Gormley is among several players on this year’s roster who were pivotal to last season’s success. Others key returnees include senior forward Britney Dike and sophomore guard Kiera Cryan.

Delco Christian looks to make another run to the District 1 Class 2A final. Seniors guards Monica Lebaudy and Shekinah Yanes return to the lineup.

Catholic Academies

Sacred Heart Academy has the talent to compete for a second consecutive District 1 Class AA championship.

While losing standout guard Eileen Piombino to graduation hurts, the Lions (15-11 last year) are loaded with experience, led by 6-0 senior center Kyra Quigley, junior guard Kayleigh Doyle, senior forward Sami Smith, and senior guards Liz Franz and Caitlin Hughes. After a one-year hiatus from playing basketball, coach Zach Shuler looks forward to the return of senior guard Jaycee Webster, a standout volleyball player.

“I’m looking forward to coaching a group of players who have now played together for three years,” Shuler said. “Our strengths will be our experience, team chemistry and depth. I’m hoping that a tough league schedule will prepare us for another deep run in the postseason.”

Ches-Mont League

Sun Valley is hoping for a better outcome than last season when the team endured a 4-17 campaign. Abby Seasock, a senior guard, give the Vanguards a viable outside shooting threat.

The Ches-Mont will go through West Chester Henderson, which captured the District 1 Class 5A and league titles last winter.

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