FREELAND, Mich. – After advancing to the Regional Final in the 2018 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, the Hope College women's basketball team received all eight possible first-place votes in a preseason poll of nine Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's basketball coaches and are predicted to prevail in the 2018-19 MIAA race.
Trine, last year's MIAA regular season co-champions with Hope, received the remaining first-place vote and garnered 56 points to rank second. Albion (50 points) placed third overall, followed by Calvin (44 points). Adrian (31 points) edged Olivet (27 points) for fifth place in the poll, with Saint Mary's (18 points) predicted to finish ahead of Alma (17 points) and Kalamazoo (17 points).
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
Hope (29-2 overall in 2017-18, 15-1 MIAA) shared the 2018 MIAA Championship with Trine and then prevailed over the Thunder, befittingly in overtime, of the MIAA Tournament Championship game last season. Returning ths season are First-Team All-MIAA selections Francesca Buchanan (Sr., F, Grant, Mich.) and Kenedy Schoonveld (So., G, Zeeland, Mich.); Buchanan was named a preseason Second-Team All-American by D3hoops.com, and the Flying Dutch were ranked third in a the WBCA preseason poll.
Trine (26-4, 15-1) features two-time MIAA Most Valuable Player Brandi Dawson (Sr., F, Garrett, Ind.), who was a preseason First-Team All-American by D3hoops.com. As a team, the Thunder were ranked ninth in the D3hoops.com preseason poll.
Albion (18-8, 11-5) participated in the MIAA Tournament last year and will once again have the services of First-Team All-MIAA honoree Evelyn Wischmeyer (Jr., G/F, Lake Orion, Mich.) and Second-Team All-MIAA selection Rain Hinton (So., F/C, Fort Wayne, Ind.).
Calvin (16-10, 11-5) returns three starters from last year's squad, including Rachel Warners (Sr., F/P, Grand Rapids, Mich.); Warners averaged 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, tops among returnees.
The 2018-19 women's basketball season tips-off on Friday, Nov. 9, with Calvin, Olivet, and Adrian all taking the court in non-conference contests. MIAA play gets underway Wednesday, Nov. 28 when Adrian takes on Hope and Olivet travels to Albion.
The 2019 MIAA Women's Basketball Tournament is scheduled for Friday-Saturday, Feb. 22-23, at the highest seed of the four-team field; the winner will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship.
|7.||Saint Mary's||18 points|