MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – Following its win over No. 17 Illinois Wesleyan in the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament First Round, the Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team is ranked No. 24 in the final D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll for 2018-2019, the organization announced late Monday. The ranking is the highest in program history for the Warriors, who checked in at No. 25 in week nine of last season.
The Warriors, who boasted the nation's top scoring defense at 45.9 points allowed per game, won a program-record 27 games, including a 19-1 record in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. WLC defeated Dominican and rival Concordia Wisconsin in the NACC Tournament before knocking off 17th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan 48-40 in the NCAA Tournament First round. Wisconsin Lutheran fell to eventual Final Four participant St. Thomas 67-51 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.
Jen Dowden (Bonduel, Wis.) was named a D3hoops.com First Team All-Region performer in addition to being named NACC Player of the Year for the second straight year. Teammate Maddy Elrod (Conifer, Colo.) was also named a First Team All-NACC performer. Senior guard Lexi Reinke (Bonduel, Wis.) was named Second Team All-NACC and senior guard Maddie Cruz (New Berlin, Wis.) was named NACC Defensive Player of the Year. Fifteenth-year head coach Klay Knueppel was tabbed the conference's Coach of the Year for the fourth time after eclipsing the 300-win plateau and leading WLC to its seventh NACC championship.
The D3hoops.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, sports information directors, and media members from across the country, and is published weekly.