Batavia showed plenty of promise in its first year under Kevin Jensen last season, improving its victory total by 5 for a final record of 13-14.
While the season kind of ended with a dud with just 28 points and 3 points in the fourth quarter of a regional semifinal loss to Elk Grove, Batavia has a nucleus in place to push its record well over .500 this winter.
Fruendt, an all-area guard last year, averaged 14.2 points a game and was as explosive as any player with seven games of 20 or more points.
The sharp-shooting Grizaffi joins Fruendt to give Batavia a high-scoring backcourt. Those two and junior center Erin Bayram will be the three captains.
Bayram returns to the lineup after an injury-shortened sophomore season. She tore her ACL early in the season against St. Charles East after she had started the year as a force in the post as one of the team's top scorers and rebounders.
"Erin's doing well," Jensen said. "She has been playing since early to mid July. She played a couple tournaments with her AAU team. She played this fall with our team at Montini. She's probably not exactly where she wants to be yet, but she's getting closer and closer every day."
Those three plus Sami Villareal taking on a bigger role and depth from Grace Andrews, Jenny Welday and Abbey McCabe have Jensen excited for the season.
"We had a strong off-season and hope to continue improving from last year," Jensen said. "We have a very solid core group returning. Our numbers are down, so that will challenge us this year. We hope to compete for a conference title."
Add into that mix of experience two promising freshmen who should give the lineup an infusion of talent and energy -- Hannah Frazier and Bethany Orman. Look for Orman to play point and Frazier inside.
"Hannah and Bethany will have significant roles as freshmen on the varsity team," Jensen said. "They both played with us all summer. They played on the same AAU team this summer as well. Most of their teammates were incoming freshmen that will probably play varsity for their respective teams. They will both contribute right away for our team, most likely off the bench."
Coach: Kevin Jensen
Last year: 13-14
Key players: Liza Fruendt (jr, G); Miranda Grizaffi (sr., G); Erin Bayram (jr, C)
Skinny: Look for another leap forward from BataviaCopyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.