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Vaqs going through changes

GCC has new coach and a roster that includes only two returners from last year.

November 04, 2010|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

GLENDALE — Though she's only been the head coach of the Glendale Community College women's basketball program for four months, Carrie Miller isn't going to use the lack of time in the position as a crutch.

Known for having a sharp eye at evaluating talent, Miller didn't have the opportunities that her counterparts had in exploring the recruiting trail this past summer in an attempt to find players who might be able to grasp her strategies.

That doesn't mean the current cast of players at Glendale college doesn't fit the bill, though. Teaching is a daily occurrence, and the Vaqueros and Miller have been learning about each other.

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"I think we definitely have some strengths," said Miller, who took over for Monica Hang after Hang left to take a similar job at Western State Conference-rival L.A. Valley College. "We have the potential, but we are just young.

"Some players were not taught very much in high school, but we have had some players who have picked things up. Every day, you just try to teach and try to get better."

The Vaqueros, who went 12-15 and 5-7 in conference last season, will begin their new season at 1 p.m. Friday against L.A. Southwestern in an opening-round game of the Pasadena City College Tournament.

Miller, a Littlerock High graduate who spent last season as a recruiting and scouting coordinator for the Antelope Valley College women's program, said there will be some growing pains, but she would like to have her squad clicking by the start of conference in January.

"It's a learning process all the way around," said Miller, who also has served as an assistant coach at Antelope Valley and Santa Barbara City and Adams State College in Colorado. "There's a new coach who has a new system in place and even the returners are getting used to the style."

Miller said the Vaqueros will field 12 players, eight of whom will be freshmen. Only two players — Chelsea Baquiero and Araceli Nieves — were members of last season's squad.

The guards will be Nieves and Baquiero and fellow sophomores Amanda Manahan and Gabriela Silva. Manahan and Silva missed all of last season because of knee injuries after playing for the Vaqueros during the 2008-09 campaign.

The freshman guards will be Michelle Eclar, a Glendale Adventist Academy graduate, Alexandra Mancillas, Burbank High graduate Michelle Kojakehyanyan and Delfina Gonzalez.

The forwards will be freshmen Daniela Ruvalcaba, Alayna Powell, Marianna Azizian and Stephanie Sanchez.

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