|Hannah Fox and Amherst battled past Taylor Choate and Bowdoin in last season's national championship game. The preseason poll suggests the NESCAC rivals could meet again for the title in 2019.
Photo by Cory Chuchna, d3photography.com
|#||School (1st votes)||Rec||Pts||Prev.|
|4||St. Thomas (1)||27-3||525||7|
|Full preseason women's basketball Top 25|
Amherst brings a 66-game winning streak and a No. 1 ranking into the 2018-19 season, but the Mammoths aren't the unanimous pick to three-peat in our preseason Top 25 poll.
Amherst, which received 21 first-place votes, brings back three starters from last season's undefeated national championship squad. All-American point guard Hannah Fox and shooting guard Madeline Eck (11.8 points per game) anchor the Mammoths' back court and Cam Hendricks comes back at the swing position. The returning Amherst players accounted for a little more than half of the team's points, rebounds and assists last season.
Amherst is trying to become the first team to win three consecutive Division III women's basketball titles since Washington U. won four from 1998 through 2001.
Bowdoin, which also returns three starters, enters the season ranked second. The Polar Bears are led by Abby Kelly (11.7 points per game) but will have to fill the void created by the graduation of last season's Player of the Year Kate Kerrigan.
Amherst and Bowdoin are scheduled to meet once in the regular season when the Polar Bears host the Mammoths in Maine on Jan. 26.
Hope brings back All-American center Francesca Buchanan and Great Lakes Region co-Rookie of the Year Kenedy Schoonveld and the Flying Dutch check in at No. 3. St. Thomas was picked first on one ballot and fourth overall. The Tommies returns All-American center Hannah Spaulding and much of last year's MIAC title-winning roster. Thomas More enters its final season in Division III basketball ranked No. 5. The Saints have one of the nation's best players in senior Madison Temple.
The rest of the Top 25 includes Washington U. and DePauw, which continue their streak of being ranked at least once since we started our Top 25 poll in 1999.