Sun Belt Releases Women's Basketball Preseason Poll


Nov. 2, 2017

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Sun Belt Conference released the results of its preseason women's basketball poll Thursday morning, with Coastal Carolina placing 11th of 12 teams with 33 points. The preseason poll was voted upon by the league's head coaches.

UTA was voted the preseason conference favorite, garnering seven first-place votes and a total of 136 points. In addition, the Mavericks' Rebekah VanDijk (senior, center) was voted the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year while two other UTA student-athletes made the preseason all-conference teams.

Little Rock, last year's regular season champion with a 17-1 Sun Belt record, finished second in the polling with 125 points and two first-place votes.

The defending Sun Belt tournament champions, Troy, placed third with 119 points and two first-place votes.

The final first-place vote went to Louisiana, which finished fourth in the voting with 116 points.

Texas State placed fifth with 89 points, followed by Arkansas State (71 points), South Alabama (70 points) and Georgia State (65 points). Appalachian State placed ninth, the same position it finished 2016-17 in, with 50 points. Georgia Southern was 10th with 48 points, and ULM rounded out the poll in 12th place with 14 points.

The Chanticleer women's basketball team, entering its fifth season under head coach Jaida Williams, begins the 2017-18 season next Friday, Nov. 10, with a 5 p.m. game versus Lees-McRae at the HTC Center.

The Chants play a total of 17 games on their home court this season, including nine against Sun Belt competition. Season tickets for all 17 games are just $75, and can purchased by visiting the athletics' Ticket Page.

2017-18 Sun Belt Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. UTA (7) 136 points
2. Little Rock (2) - 125 points
3. Troy (2) - 119 points
4. Louisiana (1) - 116 points
5. Texas State - 89 points
6. Arkansas State - 71 points
7. South Alabama - 70 points
8. Georgia State - 65 points
9. Appalachian State - 50 points
10. Georgia Southern - 48 points
11. Coastal Carolina - 33 points
12. ULM - 14 points

Preseason All-Conference First Team
Madi Story (Appalachian State, Guard, Sr.)
Simone Fields (Louisiana, Forward, Sr.)
Chyna Ellis (South Alabama, Center, Sr.)
Cierra Johnson (UTA, Guard, Sr.)
Rebekah VanDijk (UTA, Center, Sr.)

Preseason All-Conference Second Team
Jada Lewis (Georgia State, Guard, So.)
Gabriella Cortez (ULM, Forward, Sr.)
Taeler Deer (Texas State, Guard, Sr.)
Toshua Leavitt (Texas State, Guard, Jr.)
Amanda Mendoza (Troy, Guard, Sr.)

Preseason All-Conference Third Team
Madison Newby (Georgia State, Guard, So.)
Jasmine Thomas (Louisiana, Guard, So.)
Genesis Perrymond (South Alabama, Guard, Sr.)
Crystal Allen (UTA, Guard, Sr.)
Ericka May (Texas State, Forward, Sr.)

Preseason Player of the Year
Rebekah VanDijk (UTA, Center, Sr.)



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