Seahawk Women's Basketball Selected Seventh in CAC Preseason Poll

Seahawk Women's Basketball Selected Seventh in CAC Preseason Poll

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

Fredericksburg, Va. – The Capital Athletic Conference published its 2017-18 preseason coaches' poll for women's basketball Monday morning and St. Mary's College of Maryland garnered the seventh spot after the conference coaches' votes were counted.

The Seahawks open up the 2017-18 campaign under new management as C.K. Calhoun begins her first season at the helm. St. Mary's will have a tough battle in front of them as they look to secure one of the sought-after six league playoff spots, with three conference entering the new season ranked in the national preseason polls.

WATCH: CAC Women's Basketball Webcast · READ: CAC Women's Basketball Season Preview Article

Defending CAC champion and national semifinalist Christopher Newport University was selected as the unanimous favorite to repeat in the 2017-18 CAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll. The Captains received nine first-place votes and totaled 81 points to grab the top spot.

The University of Mary Washington, which finished as the regular-season and tournament runner-up last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, took second place in the voting with 70 points. Marymount (Va.) University, which advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 a year ago, received a first-place vote and 67 points to claim third in the poll.

York College of Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the preseason voting with 59 points, with Salisbury University (49) and Frostburg State University (44) rounding out the projected playoff teams in fifth and sixth, respectively. St. Mary's was seventh with 26 points, followed by Penn State Harrisburg (23 points), Wesley (19 points), and Southern Virginia (16 points).

The 2017-18 season tips off on Wednesday, November 15 with eight CAC teams in non-conference action, including the Seahawks hosting The Catholic University of America at 8:00 p.m. in the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena. The 2018 CAC Women's Basketball Championship Tournament begins Tuesday, February 20 with first-round action and ends Saturday, February 24 with the crowning of the conference champion.

2017-18 CAC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Christopher Newport (9 first-place votes)

81 points

2. Mary Washington

70 points

3. Marymount (Va.) (1 first-place vote)

67 points

4. York (Pa.)

55 points

5. Salisbury

49 points

6. Frostburg State

44 points

7. St. Mary's (Md.)

26 points

8. Penn State Harrisburg

23 points

9. Wesley

19 points

10. Southern Virginia

16 points

Last season, St. Mary's posted a 7-18 (5-13 CAC) overall record. The Seahawks finished ranked third in Division III with 7.0 blocks per game and 10th with 176 blocks as Nina Haller '17 and junior forward Kobe Chaney (Edgewater, Md./South River) combined for 130 blocks.

Calhoun inherited a program which made the CAC Tournament five of the last six seasons while returning All-CAC performer senior guard Kerri Kline (Hagerstown, Md./Saint James) and Chaney, the conference's third-leading rebounder and shot blocker. This year's roster features seven upperclassmen that will look to provide strong leadership as St. Mary's navigates a challenging schedule and hopes to return to the conference playoffs.

Top Returners

  • Olivia Nowlin (Sr., G) – Team captain … Top 15 in CAC with 2.3 assists per game and 1.9 steals per game … Third on team in scoring with 7.2 points per game
  • Kerri Kline (Sr., G) – Team captain … 2015 CAC Rookie of the Year … 2016 Second Team All-CAC … Top 15 in the conference in scoring (11.6 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (.313) … Led team with 2.1 three-point field goals made per game
  • Kobe Chaney (Jr., F) – Third in the league in rebounding (8.4 rpg) and blocked shots per game (2.0 bpg) … Fourth on team in scoring with 6.7 points
  • Katie Robey (Jr., G) – Team captain … Top 15 in CAC with team-leading 2.6 assists per game … Third on team with 1.5 steals per game

Top Newcomers

  • Kyaira Priest (Fy., G, Lexington Park, Md./Chopticon) – First team All-Southern Maryland Athletic Conference as a senior
  • Emmey German (Fy., G, Lutherville, Md./Towson) – Four-year starter … Two-time All-Baltimore County (2015, 2016) … 2017 All-Division … 2017 MVP of County City Game
  • Hallie Persell (Fy., F, Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) – 2017 Coaches All-Anne Arundel County First Team … 2017 Capital Gazette All-Anne Arundel County First Team … North Team MVP for Senior All-Star Classic … Averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds

Key Losses

  • Nina Haller '17 (C) – 2017 First team All-CAC … 2015 and 2016 Second Team All-CAC … Ranked 12th in Division III in blocked shots per game (3.2) and 13th in blocked shots (80) … Led the CAC in rebounding (9.7 rpg) and blocked shots per game … Third in the conference in scoring (14.6 ppg) … Ninth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.439) 

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