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Looking to the future

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By Richard RoBards

When the Lady Tigers took the floor Thursday morning for a first-round match-up in the 29th Annual Women's NAIA Division 1 Basketball National Championship Tournament, coach Ginger Colvin was in familiar surroundings.

Colvin's history with the Lady Tigers in Jackson, Tenn. dates back to 1990 when she was a senior guard for then Campbellsville College. The second-year coach tied up some loose ends of a trifecta of sorts ... trips to the national tournament as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

"It's a great experience," Colvin said after her team lost 64-60 to Columbia (Mo.) College. "You get to see the best teams in the country and watch how they compete."

The Lady Tigers were back at nationals for the first time in five years by riding a 26-6 record, a first place regular season Mid-South crown and runner-up finish in the conference tournament.

Campbellsville played once in Oklahoma City in 1983, and then made 15 appearances in Jackson under Hall-of-Fame Coach Donna Wise, who led the Lady Tiger fortunes for 32 years.

Colvin, who played for Wise and was an assistant coach for 16 seasons, has been working on a recipe that will give the Lady Tigers a legitimate run at a national title.

The Lady Tigers will return all but senior Juliana Brown, who played her last game Thursday.

Colvin will have a roster of players dominated by seven sophomores and three freshmen. Juniors Kristi Ensminger and Shebree Hunter will make up the 2009-2010 senior class.

Campbellsville's first-round loss was the eighth time in 17 appearances that the Lady Tigers were bounced in the initial game. CU made the quarterfinals four times and in the second round five times.