Washington University in St. Louis Women’s Basketball Ranked No. 9 in D3Hoops.com Preseason Top-25 Poll
St. Louis, Mo., October 28, 2012 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team is ranked No. 9 in the 2012 D3Hoops.com Preseason Top-25 poll, as announced by the website. The Bears also begin the season as the No. 16 team in the DIII News preseason poll.
Calvin College, which returns three starters from last year’s 28-2 team, is ranked No. 1 in both polls. Calvin was one of six teams to receive first-place votes in the D3Hoops.com poll, picking up nine of the 25 No. 1 votes. George Fox University, last year’s runner-up, University of St. Thomas, DePauw University and defending national champion Illinois Wesleyan University rounded out the top-five. Mount Union University (No. 6), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (No. 7), and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (No. 8) also begin the season ahead of Washington U.
Washington University returns four players with starting experience and 14 letterwinners from last year’s team that finished 21-6 overall and 10-4 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Bears finished second in the conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd-consecutive season.
Sophomore forward Melissa Gilkey highlights four returners with starting experience from last year’s team. She earned second-team all-UAA and UAA Rookie of the Year honors a year ago. Gilkey started all 27 games in 2011-12, finishing second on the team with 10.9 points per game, while leading the Bears with 7.3 rebounds per game and 38 blocked shots. She was also named the D3Hoops.com Central Region Rookie of the Year and was selected to the 2012 Women’s DIII News All-Freshman Team.
Senior forward Kristin Anda also returns for her senior season after missing a majority of the 2011-12 season with an injury. She averaged 9.2 points, six rebounds and 2.3 steals per game while starting the first nine games of her junior season for the Bears. Anda was an honorable mention all-UAA selection as a sophomore.
Junior forward Jordan Rettig and sophomore guard Maddy Scheppers also have starting experience from last season. Rettig started 12 games in her first two seasons at Washington University, and averaged 5.2 points per game, while shooting 46.1 percent from the field in 25 games a year ago. Scheppers played in all 27 games of her freshman season, including starting 10 of the final 11 contests. She finished sixth on the team with 6.5 points per game, while ranking fourth with 4.4 rebounds per game.
Head coach Nancy Fahey, who became the first-ever NCAA Division III coach or player to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in June, begins her 27th season at Washington University with a 617-112 record (.846 winning percentage). She has led the Bears to an NCAA Division III-record five national championships and 10 Final Four appearances in her career. Last season, she became the fastest coach in NCAA women’s basketball history to reach 600 wins, doing so in her 706th game.
The Bears open the 2012-13 season by hosting the 12th Annual McWilliams Classic Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16-17 at the WU Field House. Washington U. will take on Buena Vista University in the season opener for both teams. Lake Forest College and Ohio Northern University will also compete in the McWilliams Classic.