Coaches tab last year's champs atop women's basketball poll
Wisconsin Lutheran and Dominican were tabbed to repeat as champions according to the 2011-12 Northern Athletics Conference Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Warriors were picked for a repeat in the North Division, while the Stars were chosen to win the South title.
Both favorites received 12-of-13 first-place votes and were clear-cut favorites to win their respective divisions.
The Warriors received 90 points, followed by Concordia Wisconsin (77 points, 1 first-place vote) and Edgewood (64). Marian (45) was ahead of Alverno (40) for the fourth spot, followed by Lakeland (35) and Maranatha (13).
In the South, Dominican's 76 points were 14 better than Benedictine's 62 (1 first-place vote). MSOE (45) was just two ahead of Rockford (43) for the third spot, followed by Concordia Chicago (24) and Aurora (23).
The Warriors are coming off their most successful season in the history of the program, a season which saw Wisconsin Lutheran finish 26-4 and win its first-ever NCAA Tournament game, a 73-59 first-round triumph over UW-La Crosse. The Warriors finished 16-2 in the Northern Athletics Conference to win their third straight division crown.
WLC returns four starters from last season's team including second team all-conference honoree Rachel Johnson (5-9, Sr., F, 13.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.4 apg) and juniors Shavon Dillon (5-6, G, 10.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg), Alyssa Allister (5-3, G, 5.4 ppg, 1.9 apg) and Krissy Day (5-5, G, 5.3 ppg, 3.1 prg).
The Dominican Stars had one of the most remarkable turnarounds in conference history, going from last place in the South (4-14) two seasons ago, to first (14-3) last season. The 20-7 overall record marked the program's first 20-win season since 1994.
The Stars return All-NAC second-teamer Sarah Budz (5-8, Sr., G, 10.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.7 bpg) and honorable mention honoree Kayla Blom (5-4, Sr., G, 12.4 ppg, 4.0 apg, 39.1 3-pt FG%), but will look to fill the shoes of the team's leading scorer from last season, Becky Christofferson (17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 77 3-pt FGs).
Six teams open regular-season play on Nov. 15, while the others open later in the week.
The 2012 NAC Tournament takes place Feb. 22-25, with tournament winner earning the conference's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA III Championship Tournament and the title of NAC Champion.
2011-12 Northern Athletics Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Wisconsin Lutheran (12), 90
2. Concordia Wisconsin (1), 77
3. Edgewood, 64
4. Marian 45
5. Alverno, 40
6. Lakeland, 35
7. Maranatha, 13
1. Dominican (12), 76
2. Benedictine (1), 62
3. MSOE, 45
4. Rockford, 43
5. Concordia Chicago, 24
6. Aurora, 23
first-place votes in parentheses
voted by the conference's 13 head coaches
7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale used for North, 6-5-4-3-2-1 used for South