ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — The UAlbany women’s basketball team is coming off their first America East championship since 2017. Now, they’ve begun the early stages of defending that championship.

The Great Danes just wrapped up their first week of summer sessions, with only a few players yet to report. This team will have a lot of familiar faces in their quest to run it back: 12 of their 15 players are returners from last season.

The Great Danes know what it takes to get it done, and they know the work starts now. “I certainly think that’s where the championship culture started, in the summer last year,” said head coach Colleen Mullen. “They’ve come back in, they’re in unbelievable shape, they’re driven, they’re focused, they’re determined. We’ve had spirited practices. It’s really exciting, but it’s a new team. But at the end of the day, I know they’re all very, very good, high character young women. Being able to have three freshman step into an established culture with great kids is always going to be a positive outcome.”