Editor's Note: Coming off the program's first Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, there is a lot of anticipation for the 2011-12 women's basketball season as well as the expectations it holds. Every Tuesday throughout the summer, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications Jill Wunrow will sit down with one player to talk about the expectations they have for themselves for the upcoming season and what fans can expect to see from them individually.
Senior, Hannah Quilling (Eau Claire, Wis.), 5'7", G
It's no secret you and Julie will have big shoes to fill, losing Kayla and Celeste to graduation, what have you learned from Kayla and Celeste that you feel will help you lead this team?
"We learned a lot from the people that came before us and I think it's only going to help me and Julie lead the way we want to. We know from the start that we're not Kayla and Celeste and those shoes can't be filled, they have to be set aside and admired. We just have to be us and lead the way we know how from their example."
Do you feel a lot of pressure to fill the void of Kayla and Celeste?
"I think because they were such great leaders we all feel pressure, not just me and Julie but everyone. We came from a season that was history in itself and to come off a season like that, there's pressure on everybody. All we can do is take it day by day and work hard in the summer and get back on the court."
As a senior captain and emerging as a vocal leader last season, what can fans expect from this year's team after coming off the historical Sweet 16 season?
"I think people think it's not going to be the same without Kayla and Celeste and losing everything they brought to the team makes it a totally different team. All of us have that competitive fire and drive to make a statement that says, 'we can do this too.' We were all on the team that went to the Sweet 16 and we'll be ready to show we can handle it this year too."
What are you most looking forward to during the 2011-12 season?
"I'm looking forward to seeing how girls step up. We all know Kayla and Celeste were such a huge part of this team last year and sometimes we just got to sit back and enjoy the ride and let them take the steering wheel. We can't do that this year and I'm really excited to see who steps up and when and where they do it."
Personally you had a strong start to your junior season, shooting 42 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range while averaging 22 minutes of play in non-conference games before struggling offensively against conference opponents in which you shot 34 percent from the field and 23 percent from three-point range while playing an average of 27 minutes. Did you feel like you were struggling throughout the second half of the season? Why was there a hesitancy to shoot more in the second half of the season?
"For me I've never been much of a scorer, I've always been a passer first and the first column I'll look at in the stat line is the assists. I definitely need to improve my shooting and can't have those stats again this year. I think shooting is 80% mental. We all know we can shoot the ball and that's something I need to improve upon personally."
What will you specifically work on in the off-season to improve your game?
"I'd like to work on having a scoring mentality like 'try to guard me while I have the ball' mentality. I admire Adrian Ritchie who's not afraid to shoot at any time or point in the game. I think for me just getting that mentality to shoot will be a big help."
You suffered a broken nose during the second pick-up game during the off-season. Explain what happened and how you feel now.
"Getting back to playing pick-up is such a rush and so exciting because everyone is ready to get back out there and play hard after having a week off for final exams, we just miss being around each other.
Lydia and I were both going after a loose ball and we were both going for it and she rammed her elbow into my face to beat me, intentionally I'm guessing," said Quilling in a joking manner.
"I feel better now and have to wear a nose mask while I play this summer."
Was it more of good hustle on Lydia's part or were you more or less in the way?
"It was all Lydia's fault," Qulling said laughing. "Seriously though I think we were both just hustling for the ball and it's one of those things. The worst part was how much it bled after and the reaction by teammates with weak stomachs like Sam who had to leave the court."
What can fans expect from Hannah Quilling during her senior year with the Phoenix?
"I think for all of us we have something to prove. We're going to come out, work hard and play Green Bay basketball through start to finish and give everything we have so the fans can see how much we care. That will get us to where we want to be.
Other than basketball, what are you looking forward to doing in your spare time during the summer?
"I have an internship with Prevea where I can job shadow a variety of doctors in different medical fields. It's a good opportunity to see where I want to go when I graduate. I also just moved in with Julie so it will be at least a four week project for me to get my room set up that will probably take most of the summer."