If it weren't for bad luck, the College of San Mateo women's basketball team wouldn't have any luck at all. At least that's the way it seems through the first 15 games of its season.
When the Lady Bulldogs (5-10) host Chabot (9-7) in the Coast Conference North Division opener at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, coach Michelle Warner will feel lucky to have eight healthy bodies to use.
There are 15 players listed on the CSM roster, including three who are using their redshirt year. Four others are injured and everybody on the roster has been hurt at some point during the season.
"It's payback for last year when all we had was one sprained ankle," Warner said. "But as long as we have enough players to put out there and who are willing to work and learn, we'll keep playing."
It's also a young team, with Jenna David the lone sophomore healthy enough to play. Overall, CSM has 12 freshmen on its roster.
"We all have to adjust to our offense," said David, who graduated from Jefferson High. "Playing different positions sucks but we recognize its needed."
As CSM prepares for Chabot, Notre Dame High grad Kate Larson is the lone available post player. At 5-10, she's usually matched up against players taller than she is.
"She's close to averaging a double-double," Warner said. "She can score with a lot of post moves. She's adapting and working hard."
Larson missed the start of the season after she required surgery to remove a cyst in the back of her throat.
Six-footer Marina Kolomatangi, out of Half Moon Bay, is recovering from a sprained ankle suffered during warm ups. Sierra Nazel, a 5-11 forward, broke a finger on her left hand and will be out at least three more weeks.
Reela Kanongata'a, who played last year, needed to use her redshirt year along with Sequoia grad Mele Langi and 6-0 Woodside grad Aunofo Lolohea.
Menlo-Atherton High grad Sela Tupou is recovering from a torn ACL and center Eme Tonga is out due to personal reasons.
Freshman guard Amanda Lee, out of Mills High, returns to action after missing time with a concussion, joining David, Larson, Catherine Fleres, Vanessa Siega, Kay Cooper, Teanna Price and Angalique Gibbs.
Price, a 5-5 guard out of Mt. Eden, has displayed the mindset of a power forward at times while David, at 5-4, has taken the game-opening tip.
Warner has been forced to use everybody at different positions just in case something else happens.
"They are getting a lot of experience," she said. "We'll see how quickly they learn. Having to learn more than one position should increase their basketball IQ."
Price has become a leader on the team because she shows no fear when mixing it up inside.
"I want to show people I want the ball," Price said. "As a freshman I didn't know what to expect. I like being aggressive."
She just has to stay healthy.
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