In 26 years coaching women’s basketball at College of the Canyons, Greg Herrick faced an unprecedented problem. After the team’s first meeting last season, six of the 14 players quit on the spot. “I told them it was going to be the hardest thing they’ve ever done and it was going to mean something — you know, all the things you say,” Herrick said. They said, ‘I don’t want to work that hard.’” By the Cougars’ regular-season finale, they were rolling with just four players due to injuries. Their 11-15 record was the worst in Herrick’s tenure and it was just the third time the team missed the postseason in that span. “It’s tough to manage a situation like that,” Herrick said. “There are no secrets when you only have five players to work with.” Herrick has already had his preseason meeting with this year’s team. He went in with 11 players and 11 players still remain on the team through two games, which were both losses. “I went out and started to recruit some of the kids myself,” Herrick said. “A lot of the players last year we didn’t recruit. They were walk-ons. “ … You’ve got to have competition to bring out the best in people.” One of the few returners is sophomore guard Dayna Tanaka, who led the team with 15.7 points per game last season and was named to the All-Western State Conference, South Division team. Their biggest loss is undoubtedly Marina Rojas, who had six triple-doubles and was also an All-WSC South Division honoree. “Definitely more dedication this season,” Tanaka said. “ We all want to be here. We all want to play. And we’re going to play with each other.” The Cougars opened with losses to Citrus and San Bernardino, with the loss to Citrus coming in overtime. Hart alum Kalana Inemer rejoined the team this season and has averaged 16 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. Inemer initially joined COC in 2010, when the team went 24-8. She left the program to help raise her now-three children.