MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – Wisconsin Lutheran College has been selected as the favorite to win the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference women's basketball title, according to the 2018-2019 preseason poll, voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors. This is the sixth time in the last seven years that WLC has been picked as the NACC preseason favorite.
The Warriors (24-4, 18-2 NACC), who tallied 323 points and 23 first-place votes to lead the 13-team poll, swept both the league's regular season and tournament crowns a year ago before falling to ninth-ranked Chicago in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament. Three starters and 11 letterwinners return for WLC led by reigning NACC Player of the Year and D3hoops.com Preseason All-America Second Team pick Jen Dowden (Bonduel, Wis.).
Dowden led the NACC in scoring (490 points), field goals (181), and free throws made (100). A three-time all-region pick and 2018 D3hoops.com Second Team All-American, she ranks ninth on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,307 points headed into her senior season.
Concordia Wisconsin is second with 291 points and one first-place vote followed by Benedictine (266 points; 1 first-place vote) and Lakeland (246).
Aurora is fifth with 229 points, while Edgewood (180) edged both Concordia Chicago (176) and Dominican (175) for sixth.
MSOE (137), Rockford (84), Alverno (76), Marian (59), and NACC newcomer Illinois Tech (33) round out the final five spots in the poll.
The Warriors open their season Friday, November 16 when they host St. Mary's (Ind.) as part of the annual Paul F. Knueppel Classic.
2018-2019 NACC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Wisconsin Lutheran (23), 323
2. Concordia Wisconsin (1), 291
3. Benedictine (1), 266
4. Lakeland, 246
5. Aurora, 229
6. Edgewood, 180
7. Concordia Chicago, 176
8. Dominican, 175
9. MSOE, 137
10. Rockford, 84
11. Alverno, 76
12. Marian, 59
13. Illinois Tech, 33
First-place votes in parentheses
Voted by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors
13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale used