Thomasville, NC--The Anderson University women's basketball team has been voted the Conference Carolinas Coaches' Preseason Poll favorite. After a record setting year in the conference where four teams (Anderson, Barton, Pfeiffer and St. Andrews) all advanced to the NCAA's 'big dance' last year, things are looking as good as ever for league teams heading into the 2007-08 season.
With 10 returning players, two Division I transfers, and three talented freshmen on the roster, expectations are incredibly high for the Anderson University women's basketball program for the 2007-08 season. The Lady Trojans, 24-8 overall and 15-5 in league play last season, have made four straight trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament and have won at least one game every trip.
"We always have high expectations for our program," said AU Head Coach Jeff Dow, who is 51-13 in two seasons with the Lady Trojans. "Certainly, you're always trying to build on what you did the year before or maybe the previous years. It's exciting to have 10 returning players and some new recruits who can really make an impact."
The addition of two Division I transfers -- 6-foot-2 senior Nikki Anthony from Florida State and 6-0 junior Whitney Ketner from Appalachian State - will have an immediate impact on Anderson's inside game.
"They've got a chance to have a lot of success, and they give us more size than we've ever had," Dow said. "A lot of our success is going to depend on the development of the returning players, especially our guards. Our guards are going to be critical to determine what type of year we have this season."
The Barton College women's basketball team is coming off its third trip in the past four years to the NCAA Tournament and pins down the second spot in the coach's preseason poll. Head Coach Wendee Saintsing, in her 19th season, returns four starters and seven others from a team that was the league runner-up at 16-4 and went 21-8 overall. The Lady Bulldogs, who won 11 straight at one point last season and set a school record for points in a game at 105, finally exited in the NCAA Regionals. With the addition of a sensational recruiting class, this should be another banner year for Barton.
Pfeiffer University places in the third position for the second straight year in the preseason coach's poll. New Head Coach Kevin Dobbs hopes to start right where his team left off last year as the Falcons captured both the league's regular season and tournament championship titles. The Falcons then went on to a first-round game in the NCAA DII National Tournament. They finished the year with a 26-5 overall and 18-2 league record.
Rounding out the lady's poll 4-10 was: Mount Olive, St. Andrews, Limestone, Belmont Abbey, Lees-McRae, Coker, and Erskine and Queens tied.
Conference Carolinas Women's Basketball Preseason Poll (# of
First place votes in parenthesis)
1. Anderson College (4) 94
2. Barton College (3) 90
3. Pfeiffer University (4) 89
4. Mount Olive College 67
5. St. Andrews Presbyterian College 66
6. Limestone College 49
7. Belmont Abbey College 45
8. Lees-McRae College 38
9. Coker College 33
T-10. Erskine College 17
T-10. Queens University of Charlotte 17