Five players from the University of Maine women's basketball team have asked for and have been granted their release from the program according to a press release from the school on Thursday afternoon.

Laia Sole, Anita Kelava, Naira Caceres, Tihanna Stojsavljevic, and Isabel Hernandez Pepe all will be leaving UMaine following the end of the spring semester.

“We would like to thank these five student-athletes for their contributions to our program over their time at the University of Maine and wish them well in their future endeavors,” commented associate head coach, Amy Vachon in the written release.

The Black Bears recently wrapped up an 18-16 season which saw the team lose in the America East championship to the Albany Great Danes by a score of 66-50.  The five players represent 31 percent of the team's scoring from this past year.  Sole was named the Sixth Player of the Year by the conference and was an All-Rookie selection.  She averaged 9.4 points per game last season as a freshman and was second on the team to senior captain Sigi Koizar.

Kelava played in 34 games for the Black Bears, including starting 18 games.  She also led the team with 34 blocks.  Naira Caceres started eight games for UMaine, but had seen a reduced role in America East play, logging just over seven minutes in the conference tournament.

Stojsavljevic played just 93 minutes for the team during the regular season and Hernandez Pepe played just 60 in her sophomore year.

There are no details as to where or whether the five transfer will play next next after being granted their release on Thursday.  Head Coach Richard Barron is still on medical leave after leaving the program after the January 4th game against Vermont and timetable has been set for his return.

Jon Alba of WFVX in Bangor was the first to report the story of Sole's departure.


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