The nine coaches of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) have selected Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (CMS) as the favorite for the 2016-17 women's basketball regular season.
In the preseason coaches' poll, in which coaches were permitted to vote for themselves, CMS received seven first place votes. The Athenas were ranked No. 25 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 preseason poll. Going 23-6 last season the Athenas only graduated one senior in 2016 and brought in a tall freshman class that is full of potential.
CMS will be anchored this season by a senior class including All-SCIAC honorees Jai Dungca and Kris Brackmann while the SCIAC's Athlete of the Year, Kailee Severt returns for her junior year. Earlier this month, Severt was tabbed as a preseason All-American by Women's Basketball DIII News. Head coach Kristen Dowling enters her fifth year at the helm of the Athena Basketball program.
"We are incredibly honored to be recognized by really talented SCIAC coaches," says Dowling. "The recognition is a credit to past CMS teams. The league will be very competitive as it continues to improve top to bottom. It is early in the season therefore we are focused on us and getting better everyday. I love coaching this group. Our team is led by a very experienced and driven senior class."
In a tight following, Chapman University holds the No. 2 spot in the poll receiving just one first-place vote. Cal Lutheran and Redlands follow predicted to finish the regular season in third and fourth. To complete mirror of the top five finishes from 2015-16 Redlands took the No. 5 spot in the poll. Caltech closes out the poll at No. 9.
Conference action for the 2016-17 season opens on Wednesday, November 30. The SCIAC women's basketball postseason tournament is scheduled for February 24 & 25, 2017.
2016-17 SCIAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
|1. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (7)
|2. Chapman University (1)
|3. California Lutheran University
|4. University of Redlands (1)|
|6. Whittier College|
|7. Occidental College|
|8. University of La Verne|
|9. California Institute of Technology|
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|