Youth movement for Gonzaga women

click to enlarge Kaylynne Truong - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Kaylynne Truong

It's a rebuilding year for Head Coach Lisa Fortier and her staff. Gone are a trio of four-year players who provided ability and stability to the program over their careers. The Wirth sisters, forwards Jenn and Leeanne, and guard Jill Townsend, were senior leaders last season. Jenn Wirth was last season's conference player of the year, while Townsend won the award the season prior. They leave some big shoes to fill.

Fortunately for the Zags, another pair of twins is ready to rise to the occasion in guards Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong. Sophomore Yvonne Ejim had some breakout performances in big games down the stretch last season. She followed that up by leading Canada to fifth place in the FIBA Under-19 World Cup this past summer, where she was a double-double machine and ranked top 10 in the tournament in both points (14.4 per game) and rebounds (9.4 per game).

A talented five-player freshman class with some international flavor will help the Zags this year and going forward. Esther Little, from England, and Maud Huijbens, from the Netherlands, are talented overseas finds for the Zags. But it's Michigan's Bree Salenbien, the seventh-best wing prospect in the country, according to ESPN, who headlines the incoming class.

The Zags were picked to finish second in the West Coast Conference preseason poll, and senior Melody Kempton was named to the preseason all-WCC First Team.

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