Anchorage — Coming off a conference title, but under a new coach and missing four key players who had been expected to return, the UAA women's basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference by league coaches.
Still, Seawolves Alysa Horn and Sasha King, both seniors and the team's two leading returning scorers, were among 15 players voted to the preseason all-conference team. Both were among the nine unanimous selections.
Western Washington, runner-up to UAA last season, was picked to win the league, earning seven of 10 first-place votes. Simon Fraser was picked second and gained the three other first-place votes.
Seattle Pacific was picked third, followed by Montana State-Billings, UAA, Northwest Nazarene, Central Washington, Western Oregon, Saint Martin's and UAF.
UAA last season went 30-5 and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
But the program has been in transition since.
Coach Tim Moser, who guided the Seawolves to six straight NCAA appearances and three Elite Eight berths, resigned after the season and later took an assistant coaching job at Division I Colorado State.
Moser was replaced by Nathan Altenhofen, but he resigned amid allegations of "professional misconduct'' less than three months after he was hired.
UAA quickly hired Ryan McCarthy, who had been a finalist when the job was given to Altenhofen.
Horn last season came off the bench in every game, averaging 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. King led UAA in three-point shooting at 41.1 percent, and also delivered 4.6 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game while averaging 7.0 points per game.
UAA opens play Nov. 4 with an exhibition against Division I Arizona State and opens the regular season Nov. 9 against Colorado School of Mines.