ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville women’s basketball team had its first practice this morning as the Bulldogs began preparations for the 2013-14 season.


Asheville is coming off an injury-riddled 2-28 campaign but second-year coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick’s club fought hard through the season and that hard work should pay dividends starting this year.


The Waynesville native was pleased with what she saw on the first day of practice.


“Today was a very solid start for the first day of official practice. We were a touch early due class schedules and hosting the Bobcats in Kimmel arena but these ladies had a mature approach to a 6:15 am start and went to work,” declared Kirkpatrick. “The kids played with an expected urgency that comes from a team that has much to prove to themselves and each other. Our focus this season is strictly on team and every one's primary role is to invest in each other and be a great teammate. The rest will take care of itself.


“This process started for us in July when we had all 13 of our student-athletes in summer school,” added Kirkpatrick. “They used that time not only to get better on the court but to get to know each other and begin to build what I know is going to be a successful culture. UNC Asheville women's basketball will be about team this year in everything we do. Today we put our first stamp on how we want this season to go and our focus is at an all time high."  


The Bulldogs will open the 2013-14 season at home against Furman on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m.  Asheville has four games at Kimmel Arena in the first month of the season. Kirkpatrick’s club will host Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 16), North Carolina Central (Nov. 23) and Bluefield (Nov. 26).


The Blue & White’s first two road games are against regional Southern Conference foes in Wofford (Nov. 14) and Western Carolina (Nov. 20).


Asheville opens Big South Conference play on Dec. 2 at Charleston Southern.