Princeton, WV – Defending tournament champion Glenville State has been selected as the 2011-12 WVIAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Champion as voted on by the league’s coaches.
The Pioneers were first on 12 ballots while garnering 219 total points to lead the way. GSC won the 2010-11 WVIAC Tournament and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The squad returns first-team all-conference member Tenisha Wilson and second-team honoree Danielle Woodmore. The squad averaged 95.7 points per game in head coach Bunky Harkleroad’s system.
Concord picked up two first-place nods en route to second in the poll (178 points) while West Virginia Wesleyan was third with 177 points. The Bobcats picked up four second-place votes.
The Mountain Lions are coming off a 17-12 mark in 2010-11. The team will be led by senior all-conference members Camisha Alexander and Jolysa Brown. The duo combined for 31 points and nearly 14 rebounds an outing. Brown also led the team in blocks and steals. The Bobcats were 18-10 a season ago with the help of leading scorer Lydia Bridenbaugh, who accounted for 19.1 points a night and grabbed 7.2 rebounds an outing en route to first-team all-conference honors. Fellow teammate Jamie Kaufman also earned first-team accolades after adding 16.5 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds a game last year.
The University of Charleston, which won the regular season a year ago, earned one first-place vote as the team was chosen fourth in the preseason poll with 172 total points. The Golden Eagles were 24-8 last year and have to replace All-American Lindsey Kentner but return Chrissy Keir and Erika Rousculp. In the paint, Rousculp came on strong near the end of the season and helped guide UC to an NCAA Tournament berth while Keir will be looked at for her three-point accuracy.
West Liberty rounded out the top five with 158 points. The Hilltoppers were second on three ballots and picked up three third-place nods. WLU registered a 25-7 mark a season ago with the help of now departed All-American Tori Hansen. She helped the team earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament where the Hilltoppers advanced to the second round. Head coach Lynn Ullom has an abundance of talent returning while Kayla Ayers and Emily Blevins could both factor into more prominent scoring roles.
Fairmont State and Seton Hill each totaled 151 points to tie for sixth in the preseason poll. The Falcons had one second-place vote while the Griffins tallied two. FSU returns first-team all-conference performer Kaitlin Snyder, who helped the team to a 15-12 mark by netting nearly 20 points a contest. SHU is coming off a 22-7 campaign. Despite losing their top scorer, the Griffins have Paige Alviani, who earned all-freshman team honors last season.
West Virginia State was chosen eighth, edging Shepherd by two points. The Yellow Jackets totaled 118 points in the voting while the Rams’ votes added up to 116 points. Pitt-Johnstown rounded out the top 10, totaling 105 points.
WVSU’s Chelsea Davis earned all-conference honors and was the WVIAC Freshman of the Year last season. The Rams were 15-13 a season ago but have to replace all-conference performer Jerica Hewett. SU returns three of its top five scorers from last year in Shelby Fayak, Emily Daniel and Jenn Prine. The Lady Cats must replace first-team all-conference honoree Andrea Dalton and second-team selection Sheena Aden. Senior Kayla Loughner and all-around player Sara Trimarco will look to fill the void. Both started just about every game last season and averaged over 20 minutes of playing time apiece.
Ohio Valley was selected 11th with 89 points while Davis & Elkins was chosen 12th with 60 total points. The Fighting Scots return second-team all-conference selection Amber Avery, who averaged a double-double last season. Shelby Way also averaged double figures, netting 11.2 points a night. The Senators return the second-leading scorer from a season ago in Page Turner. She dropped in 13.2 points a night while all-freshman team selection Jorden Lykes will look to add to her stellar collegiate start.
Wheeling Jesuit (48 points), Alderson-Broaddus (32 points) and Bluefield State (26 points) completed the WVIAC women’s basketball preseason poll.
The Cardinals are under new guidance with the hiring of Deborah Buff as the head coach. Cassy Sanderson returns as her most experienced returner, having played in all 27 games. Despite having a young team, WJU should thrive in the new system. The Battlers return their top three scorers from a season ago. Leading the way is Amanda Peoples, who accounted for 11.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per outing. The Lady Blues are led by Charlene Diggs’ 13.7 points per night in 2010-11 and Kelly Morgan’s 10.3
The Pioneers, Mountain Lions and Golden Eagles all received votes in the 2011-12 WBCA Preseason Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, which was released Nov. 1.
On Nov. 11, six league schools will open their season. For the full composite WVIAC schedule, go to http://www.wviac.org/calendar.aspx?path=wbball&
Place Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. Glenville State (12) 219
2. Concord (2) 178
3. WV Wesleyan 177
4. Charleston (1) 172
5. West Liberty 158
6t. Fairmont State 151
6t. Seton Hill 151
8. WV State 118
9. Shepherd 116
10. Pitt-Johnstown 105
11. Ohio Valley 89
12. Davis & Elkins 60
13. Wheeling Jesuit 48
14. Alderson-Broaddus 32
15. Bluefield State 26