Basketball adds four freshmen, depth for ’11

As the 2011-12 season draws near, the Oakland women’s basketball team has four freshmen that are looking to make an impact on the team.

Lauren Robak, Halle Wangler, Peyton Apsey and Shelby Herrington have joined a Golden Grizzlies team that reached the Summit League championship game last season.

Robak, Wangler and Apsey are all 5-9 guards joining a backcourt that has a lot of depth.

Herrington is a 6-2 forward who became Hemlock’s career leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots. She will help provide size in OU’s frontcourt.

As freshmen, these four players are not only joining a new team, but making an important transition in their lives, from high school to college life.

A common theme among the players is that their transition to Oakland so far has been a “great.”

“I absolutely love it here,” Wangler said. “The older teammates have really stepped up and helped us get acquainted with college life and the team.”

Though the freshmen will have to find their place on a new team with new coaches, each one will get to do it alongside a familiar face. Herrington and Apsey were teammates on a Hemlock high school team that reached the Class C State semifinals last season. They both said that knowing each other has made their transition easier.

“Having someone that you’re comfortable around, (and) have been with throughout high school really helps you fit in better and you always have that core person you can be with if anything happens,” Herrington said.

Apsey became Hemlock’s all-time leader in assists and steals.  All three guards earned all-state honors in high school.

Robak and Wangler weren’t teammates in high school, but rivals.  They both played for teams in the Catholic League.  Robak, who finished her high school career as the all-time leading scorer, lead Our Lady of the Lake to two straight Class D state champions while Wangler helped Shrine win a District championship.

Now at OU, the two are roommates. Wangler said that having Robak here is a “great experience.”

“I’ve known her (Robak) since we were in eighth grade, we’ve been playing against each other,” Wangler said. “It’s cool having your rival and then getting to room with her.”

As the season draws closer, the Oakland freshmen will look to help OU win a Summit League Championship.

“(My goal is) to just get stronger, stay in shape and compete with all the bigger girls and try to win a spot on that main rotation,” Herrington said.

Oakland will play in a Saturday afternoon exhibition game against Ferris State. OU’s first regular season game will be against George Mason on Nov. 13.