The UAA women’s basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference this season in the annual coaches’ preseason poll.
The Seawolves, who are coming off a 17-10 season and a third-place GNAC finish, earned 58 points in voting by the league’s 10 head coaches.
Montana State Billings grabbed six first-place votes and was picked to win its first GNAC title.
The Seawolves return three starters from last season — senior forward Kylie Burns, and sophomore guards Jessica Madison and Jenna Buchanan — who combined to average nearly 28 points, 15 rebounds and five assists per game.
Burns, the team’s only fourth-year player, averaged 10.6 points and 7.3 rebounds as a junior, while Madison averaged 9.6 points to capture GNAC Freshman of the Year honors.
UAA opens with a Nov. 1 exhibition game at Kansas State before the starting the regular season at home Nov. 9 against Western New Mexico.
GNAC Coaches Poll
(1st-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 11-9-8-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.)
1) Montana St. Billings (6) 94 points; 2) Seattle Pacific (1) 80; 3) Western Washington (3) 78; 4) Northwest Nazarene and Simon Fraser 69; 6) UAA 58; 7) Central Washington 40; 8) Saint Martin’s 29; 9) Western Oregon 19; 10) UAF 15.