St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 1, 2017 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team opens the 2017-18 season ranked in the top-10 of multiple preseason polls as announced by D3hoops.com and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
WashU was ranked 10th on the D3hoops.com poll while ranking eighth in the WBCA preseason poll. This marks the second straight season in which WashU has garnered top-10 preseason honors.
The Bears enter the year under the guidance of Randi Henderson, who was hired on June 5, 2017. The University of Iowa graduate inherits the reigning University Athletic Association (UAA) Champions that finished last year 26-3 while advancing to the NCAA Division III Sectional Finals.
WashU is one of three teams from the UAA selected to D3hoops.com's preseason Top-25 poll which included No. 21 University of Rochester and No. 22 University of Chicago. The Bears schedule also presents multiple top-25 non-conference opponents including No. 15 DePauw University and No. 25 Illinois Wesleyan University.
Despite the loss of four starters, the Bears return 13 letterwinners including D3hoops.com fourth-team All-American forward Madeline Homoly. She led the Bears in scoring and rebounding with the majority of her time coming off the bench. Homoly averaged 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in her first year in the Red & Green.
Senior guard Natalie Orr earned second-team all-UAA honors for the second consecutive season after starting in all 29 games while averaging 10.1 points per game and a 38.5 three-point field goal percentage. She and junior guard Rachael Sondag are two of the most decorated three point shooters in school history.
Sondag led the Bears with 53 three pointers made last season, successfully sinking 39.6 percent of her shots from beyond the arc.
Junior forward Stephanie Botkin and junior guard Becca Clark-Callender also return after averaging more than 10 minutes per game last season. Botkin contributed double figure points in seven games played off the bench while Clark-Callender added two. Clark-Callender finished the year with a team-high 93 assists.
The Bears concluded 2016-17 with the fourth best field-goal percentage (46.0) and the sixth-best assist-to-turnover ratio in Division III (1.27).
The 2017-18 season kicks off Friday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. when WashU travels to University of Wisconsin-Lutheran for the Paul F. Knueppel Classic against Luther College. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.