St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 4, 2013 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team begins the season ranked No. 2 in the 2013 D3Hoops.com Preseason Top-25 poll, as announced by the website. The Bears were also ranked No. 4 in the DIII News and No. 8 in the USA TODAY Sports Top-25 preseason polls.
Defending NCAA Division III national champion DePauw University opens the season as the No. 1 team in the D3Hoops.com poll after receiving 20 first-place votes. The Bears picked up three first-place votes to be No. 2, while Christopher Newport University received the final two first-place votes and was ranked third. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (fourth) and University of St. Thomas (fifth) rounded out the top-five.
Emory University, ranked No. 13, was the only other University Athletic Association (UAA) team in the D3Hoops.com top-25. University of Rochester was among the teams receiving votes.
Washington University returns six players with starting experience and the top nine scorers from last year's team that finished 22-6 overall and 10-4 in the UAA. The Bears advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 for the 15th time in school history before falling to eventual national champion DePauw.
Junior forward Melissa Gilkey, a 2012-13 honorable mention All-American and first-team all-UAA honoree, led Washington U. with 15.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while starting all 28 games as a sophomore. Junior guards Maddy Scheppers (8.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.1 spg) and Alyssa Johanson (8.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg), and senior forward Jordan Rettig (7.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg) also return after starting every game a year ago. Scheppers and Johanson each received second-team all-UAA recognition in 2012-13.
Sophomore guard Jordan Thompson (5.4 ppg, 3.2 apg) and junior guard Alexandra Keane (1.9 ppg, 1.8 apg) also return with starting experience from a year ago. Thompson made six starts while playing in all 28 games in her freshman season, while Keane started eight of the 17 games she played before being sidelined with an injury.
Graduate student forward Kristin Anda (5.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg), senior guard Lucy Montgomery (5.5 ppg, 46 three-pointers), sophomore guard Katybeth Biewen (4.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg), junior center Steph Vukotic (2.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg) and senior guard Jessy Rosen (1.6 ppg) also return after playing in at least 20 games each in 2012-13.
Head coach Nancy Fahey, who became the first-ever NCAA Division III representative to be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2012, begins her 28th season at Washington University with a 639-118 record. Her .844 winning percentage ranks sixth on the NCAA women's basketball all-time winningest coaches list. One of 25 active coaches with at least 600 wins, Fahey was the fastest coach in NCAA women's basketball history to reach the mark, doing so in 2012 in her 706th career game.
The Bears open the 2013-14 season with five games on the road, beginning with a 1 p.m. (ET) contest at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, Nov. 16. Washington U. travels to tournaments at Wisconsin Lutheran College (Nov. 22-23) and DePauw (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) before hosting the McWilliams Classic Dec. 6-7 at the WU Field House.