The UC Capitals have got their 2018-19 WNBL season off to blistering start with a 97-78 away win over the Sydney Uni Flames at Brydens Stadium, Sydney on Friday 12 October.
It’s an early positive affirmation for the team after a pretty aggressive recruiting drive in the off-season that saw the Capitals import Canadian guard Kia Nurse, and Australian internationals Leilani Mitchell, Kelsey Griffin and Marianna Tolo.
Tolo returns having played for the Capitals from 2008-12, winning championships in 2009 and 2010.
Speaking at their season launch prior to the side’s first match, Tolo said the squad will look to reestablish the successful culture that saw them win seven championships from nine WNBL grand finals from the 1999-2000 season to 2010-2011.
“Different personnel always change things a little bit. We have to try to make our own culture that’s inclusive of everyone.
“We do it together, we do it through meeting and talk about what we want to achieve, how we want to do it and what we want to be known for.”
Having not qualified for the finals since 2011, Tolo believes her side has what it takes.
“We can be really tough and physical against other teams, and our rebounding presence can be huge across the board.”
Canadian import Nurse lit up the court in her Caps debut with 26 points just three days after landing in Canberra.
In the lead-up to her dominant performance, the two-time NCAA women’s division one champion said the WNBL’s scheduling suited her perfectly.
“I loved the team, the pieces that were already here, and it’s also a great seasonal transition for me.
“Going from college straight into the WNBA, straight into world championships, having this season, the length of it, is great for my body and Australia’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.
“Looking at who the team already have, the coaching staff and the program made this really exciting for me to be a part of.”
The UC Capitals will host the Adelaide Lightning at the National Convention Centre on 21 October 2pm; tickets via wnbl.com.au