FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Christopher Newport was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the 2018-19 Capital Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Poll. The Captains received five first-place votes and tallied 46 points to secure the top spot in voting among the conference head coaches.
York and Mary Washington also nabbed first-place votes, with the Spartans taking second place in the poll with 43 points and two first-place nods, and UMW receiving one first-place vote and 40 points.
Frostburg State and Salisbury were deadlocked in fourth place with 28 points apiece, followed by Southern Virginia in sixth place with 15 points, and Penn State Harrisburg and St. Mary's in a tie for seventh with 12 points each.
The 2018-19 season tips off on Thursday, Nov. 8 with a pair of CAC teams in non-conference action. All eight conference squads will open their campaigns by mid-November. The CAC postseason is set to begin on Feb. 19, with the title game on Feb. 23.
2018-19 CAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
Below is a brief preview of each team entering the 2018-19 campaign:
Ranked in the top 20 of the D3hoops.com Preseason national rankings, CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT will feature a vastly different look in 2018-19 as they try to live up to that billing. With eight seniors graduating and only six returners back this season, the Captains will feature a young roster including 10 freshmen. Under the direction of seventh-year head coach Bill Broderick, the Captains will look to return to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time after another Sweet 16 run last season. Leading the way are seniors Zhara Tannor, Jessica Daguilh, and Madison Howdyshell. Tannor dished out over 100 assists last season while Daguilh and Howdyshell are pivotal front court options for the Captains. The 2018-19 season will begin Sunday, November 11 at home against Virginia Wesleyan.
FROSTBURG STATE fifth-year head coach Carrie Saunders returns a slew of contributors who helped lead the Bobcats to back-to-back conference tournament appearances for the first time since 2011. Junior guard Victoria Diggs led the CAC in scoring last season at 15.6 points per game. Junior forwards Sydney Stotler and Amanda Emory return to the frontcourt after staring as first-years and sophomores. Senior guard Megan Kelly and Jasmine Tirado-Viscalla are back after Kelly ranked top 10 in three-point percentage and three-pointers made and Tirado-Viscalla finished last year 11th in assists (64).
MARY WASHINGTON will look to improve on a 14-13 record last season. The Eagles will rely on Meghan Comer, Jordan Pamlanye, and Alannah Miller to provide leadership for a young squad. Tory Martin, Madison Shifflett, and Emily Thompson will look to take a step forward in production this season. Coach Deena Applebury brings in five new faces to the program and hopes they will contribute right away.
PENN STATE HARRISBURG, led by Ross Patrick in his 11th season as head coach, returns three starters and nine players from last year's squad. The Lions' offense will be led by Shanique Mattis who averaged 13.8 points per game last season which was 4th in the CAC last season. As a team, the Lions made 165 three-pointers last season which was second in the CAC.
ST. MARY'S will feature some new faces with nine newcomers on this year's squad. Seniors Kobe Chaney and Katie Robey will look to lead a young but talented group through a challenging schedule as the Seahawks hope to build upon last season's eight-win campaign.
SALISBURY will look towards building off a 2017-2018 season that saw the team go 15-10 overall, and 10-8 in the CAC. The Sea Gulls return three starters from last season, seniors Megan Konig and Kaylyn French, and junior Rachel Ryan. Head coach Kelly Baskow is tasked with building chemistry and finding ways to incorporate a young team that includes six freshman all vying for playing time.
First-time head coach Adam Wardenburg will look to build upon last season for SOUTHERN VIRGINIA. The centerpiece at Southern Virginia is Katie Garrish who led the team in almost nearly every statistical category, including several statistics in the CAC (rebounds, blocks). The Knights also return Cory Stout who led team in assists and steals, ranking fourth in the CAC in assist. Alexus Barnes brings athletism and flexibilty to Knights offensively and defensively. The Knights add some young talent to bring in consistency from the bench.
YORK head coach Betsy Witman enters her 22nd year at the helm of the program with a young and exciting squad. Witman, who had to replace five seniors who led the Spartans to 18 wins last year, welcomes back All-CAC forward Katie McGowan to headline a group of talented underclassmen. Seniors Debria Hendricks and Logynn Fuller will join McGowan and sophomores Molly Day and Kayla Ferris in the starting lineup. Witman will look for her large sophomore class and a talented three player freshmen class to make an impact on the Spartan rotation in 2018-19.