Women's Basketball Ranked No. 3 in DIII News Preseason Top-25 Poll
St. Louis, Mo., October 13, 2010 — The defending NCAA Division III national champion Washington University in St. Louis women’s basketball team has been tabbed as the No. 3 team in the nation according to the DIII News annual preseason Top-25 Poll, it was announced by the publication.
Washington University returns two starters and 14 letterwinners to a team that posted a 29-2 overall record a year ago and captured the program’s NCAA Division III-record fifth national championship with a 65-59 victory over Hope College on March 20, in Bloomington, Ill.
Amherst College, who fell to Washington University, 89-75, in the national semifinals, will begin the season as the No. 1 team in the nation, with national runner-up Hope College ranked second, Illinois Wesleyan University coming in at No. 4, and University Athletic Association (UAA) member University of Rochester ranked No. 5.
Christopher Newport University, Kean University, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Babson College and George Fox University round out the preseason top-10.
The Bears’ 29-2 record last season was the best since the team’s back-to-back undefeated championship seasons in 1998-99 and 1999-00. Additionally the Red and Green posted a 13-1 mark in UAA play, capture their 19th conference title in the process.
Head coach Nancy Fahey enters the 2010-11 campaign with a 571-100 (.851) overall record in 24 seasons on the Danforth Campus. She was named the 2010 DIII News and D3Hoops.com National Coach of the Year, and she also garnered UAA Coaching Staff of the Year accolades.
Leading the Bears on the court will be senior guard Alex Hoover and senior forward Kathryn Berger. Hoover, a first-team all-UAA selection a year ago, averaged 8.9 points and a team-high 3.8 assists per game last season, while Berger, who was an honorable mention all-UAA selection, scored 8.8 ppg and proved to be one of the team’s primary three-point threats with 24 threes on the year.
Washington University begins its title defense on Monday, Nov. 15, when it welcomes Fontbonne University to the Washington University Field House for its season opener. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
DIII News Preseason Top-25 Poll
3. Washington University
4. Illinois Wesleyan
6. Christopher Newport
8. Wisconsin-Stevens Point
10. George Fox
11. Mount Union
12. Western Connecticut
14. St. Benedict
16. Mary Washington
20. Lebanon Valley
22. St. Thomas
25. Thomas More
Others to watch: Southern Maine, Emmanuel, Ithaca, Cortland, Louisiana College, Maryville, Muhlenberg, Scranton, Baruch, Moravian, DeSales, William Patterson, Manhattanville, Medaille, Franklin, Ohio Wesleyan, Denison, Minnesota-Morris, St. Norbert, Simpson, Redlands.
DIII News is published by GSR Communications, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary season of covering small college basketball. More information can be found at www.smallcollegehoops.com