Women's Hoops Selected Eighth in SAC Preseason PollOctober 31, 2013
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Coming off South Atlantic Conference regular season and tournament championships a season ago, Anderson University women’s basketball has been picked to finish eighth in the 2013-14 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll, voted on by the conference head coaches and released by the conference office on Thursday.
The eighth-place finish matches last season’s preseason ranking as the Trojans ended up winning the conference title, their first since joining the league in 2010. Anderson closed the year as the only SAC team to win more than 20 games, finishing with a 23-9 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the SAC.
In this year’s poll, Newberry was tabbed the favorite in the conference after returning 2012-13 All-American Halyee Lepaio. The Wolves earned 114 points with five first-place votes, edging Lenoir-Rhyne for the top spot, which earned 112 points and four first-place votes.
Following the top two teams are Wingate and Catawba, respectively, as the Bulldogs claimed two first-place votes with 96 points, three more points than the Lady Indians who grabbed the final first-place vote and 93 points. WU suffered a disappointing season last year, ending with a 13-16 overall record and a 7-11 conference mark which placed them eighth in the conference standings. Catawba, which handed AU its worst conference loss of the season a year ago (68-44), is coming off a 16-11 overall mark and a 12-6 record within the conference.
The top four teams in the poll are represented on the all-conference first team, as Lepaio headlines the group. Lepaio is joined by teammate Samantha Creed to round out Newberry’s representation. Catawba landed two on the first team as junior Chloe Bully and senior Antoinette McPhail earned spots, while Wingate’s Chantal Dunbar and Lenoir-Rhyne’s Jazmine Charles close out the six spots.
Carson-Newman finished with 74 points, which slotted the Eagles in fifth, while Lincoln Memorial was placed at No. 6 spot with 58 points. The Eagles and Lady Railsplitters combined for three players on the all-conference second team, highlighted by the LMU duo of seniors MaRanda Boddie and Kalasia Green. C-N’s Tatum Burstrom, who is one of two sophomores on the teams, looks to lead the Eagles after earning second-team honors.
Tusculum finished just ahead of AU, as the Lady Pioneers claimed 50 points, two points ahead of the Trojans. Anderson just squeaked by a pair of SAC newcomers in Coker (47 points) and Queens (41). Brevard and Mars Hill round out the poll with 30 and 29 points, respectively.
“After graduating four starters from last year’s team, (eighth) is about where we anticipated to be picked in the preseason poll,” Anderson head coach Jimmy Garrity said. “However, it is just a preseason ranking and I am more concerned about where we finish at the end of the season. I am very excited about the progress of our team and look forward to the competition in the South Atlantic Conference.”
Anderson gets the season underway at the Holley Tractor/Crescent Automotive Conference Challenge on Nov. 8-9 as the Trojans take on Peach Belt Conference members USC Aiken on Friday and Lander on Saturday. Conference action begins on Nov. 20 when AU welcomes Brevard to the Abney Athletic Center. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
2013-14 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
2013-14 SAC Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
|MaRanda Boddie||G/F||Sr.||Lincoln Memorial|
|Kalasia Green*||G||Sr.||Lincoln Memorial|
|Ansley Ricker *||G||Jr.||Mars Hill|
* Tied for the final second-team selection