The Chapman women's basketball team was voted to finish atop the 2018-19 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Preseason Poll in a vote conducted by the league's member head coaches.
Chapman received eight first place votes and 79 total points after finishing the 2017-18 season 23-5 overall, 15-1 in SCIAC play and the second seed in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. The Panthers advanced past third-seeded California Lutheran, 75-52 in the semifinals of the conference tournament, and then defeated top-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), 70-61 (2OT) to clinch the tournament title and the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Championship.
CMS received one first place vote and 72 points to finish second in the preseason poll after registering a 15-1 mark in league play to highlight a 23-4 overall ledger in 2017-18. The top-seeded Athenas secured a 69-65 victory over fourth-seeded Redlands in the SCIAC Tournament semfinals before falling to Chapman in the tournament championship contest.
Cal Lutheran, which finished 15-11 (10-6 SCIAC) a year ago, amassed 54 points and is tabbed to finish third in the league this season after advancing to the SCIAC Tournament semifinals. Whittier (47 points) finished fifth in the standings a year ago with a 10-15 overall record (7-9 SCIAC) and was voted to finish fourth in 2018-19.
Last year's fourth-seeded Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth in this year's standings with 43 points after posting a mark of 14-12 (9-7 SCIAC). Redlands, which advanced to the conference tournament semifinals in 2017-18, edged Pomona-Pitzer (42 points) in the preseason voting. The sixth place Sagehens were picked to finish in that spot again in 2018-19 after the team secured an 8-17 overall record with a 5-11 mark in league play.
La Verne (35 points), Occidental (23 points) and Caltech (10 points) are slotted to finish seventh, eighth and ninth respectively to round out the voting in the preseason poll.
Regular season action is set to begin Friday, November 9.
2018-19 SCIAC Preseason Poll
1. Chapman (8) - 79 points
2. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) (1) - 72 points
3. California Lutheran - 54 points
4. Whittier - 47 points
5. Redlands - 43 points
6. Pomona-Pitzer - 42 points
7. La Verne - 35 points
8. Occidental - 23 points
9. Caltech - 10 points