Robert Morris Looks Towards Young Talent in 2022-23


Mackenzie Amalia is expected to have a bigger role at point guard this season Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

Alec Miller

With the start of the women’s basketball season just hours away, even after the departure of some key pieces on the roster last season, Robert Morris looks to rely on a young group to get them back into the Horizon League Tournament.

Last season Robert Morris finished the season going 14-15 overall with a record of 11-11 in conference play.

That record was good enough to see them qualify for the Horizon League Tournament, where they won a first-round matchup versus Purdue Fort Wayne. But the season ultimately fell in the quarterfinals of the tournament versus IUPUI.

This season the Colonials will have Coach Charlie Buscaglia on the bench returning for his seventh season in charge. Also returning on the bench are Scott Schneider and Sarah Fowler, while there is a new assistant coach in Blessing Freeman.

The team huddles during their game agsinst Pudue Fort Wayne in the Horizon League Tournament on March 1, 2022

Leading scorer Esther Castesdo who averaged 10.8 points a game, has graduated so she will be missed on the court. Also leaving the program is Ashya Klopfenstein, the team’s third-leading scorer last season, averaging 8.1 points per game, as she has transferred to Utah State.

But returning for a junior season is last year’s second-leading scorer, Sol Castro, who averaged 8.6 points a game last year. Castro is currently injured and will miss some time to begin the season.

The Colonials will have to gain some scoring elsewhere. Mackenzie Amalia, who led the team last year in 3-point percentage, is returning for her junior season and hoping to take a step up in production offensively.

This season the roster is stacked with young talent, with no seniors on the roster and five freshmen coming in. The Colonials will have a lot of youth on their team, so there will be a learning curve there but hoping to adapt quickly to the college game.

Being a young basketball team will have its challenges, and they will have to adapt quickly this season to be prepared for the tough, grueling year of college basketball for a lot of them.

Buscaglia spoke on the ebbs and flows of the first couple of weeks in the gym,

“It is going to be about willingness to put in the extra work they put in and the willingness to be in the film room and the extra work outside of practice.”

The freshman will have a huge role to play this season and it will be about the extra work they put in to be able to make an impact on the year.

With only two juniors on the team, they will be tasked with taking responsibility for leadership on their shoulders. So, with all their experience, it will be their job to show the freshman and the younger player how to do things.

This year the Colonials have a challenging non-conference schedule, with the top two matchups in the non-league schedule coming against West Virginia and Oklahoma on the road.

The ultimate goal, like every year, is to get to the tournament. It will be a challenging year will all the new players coming in, but with the leadership and the ability to learn and be better every day, it should be a good year for the Colonials.

It will be interesting to see how things shape out for this young team with the season on the Horizon.