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MEC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll

Glenville State has been picked by the coaches in the Mountain East Conference to win a third-straight championship in 2018-19.

The Pioneers finished first in the poll with 110 points and six first-place votes. GSC went 31-2 and rolled through the MEC last year going a perfect 22-0 -- the first basketball program to finish conference play undefeated in league history, but loses two-time MEC Player of the Year Paris McLeod. The Pioneers do return five players back for this year including Emily Stoller (10.1 ppg), Courtney Davis (9.0 ppg, 8.3 rbg) and Abby Stoller (4.9 ppg, 5.0 rbg).

Notre Dame was a narrow second in the poll with 109 points and one first-place vote. The Falcons return a pair of all-conference honorees in their backcourt with first-team selection Seina Adachi (16.1 ppg) and second-team honoree Marisa Finazzo (11.3 ppg, 3.9 apg). NDC will get a boost to its front court with the return of Jessie Stout, who missed last year with an injury. Stout averaged 8.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in her last full season.

Fairmont State is third in the poll with 98 points, including three first place votes. FSU returns a strong nucleus of talent led by sophomore Sierra Kotchman, last year's MEC Freshman of the Year who averaged 18.4 points per game. Junior Brooke Kurucz was second on the team in scoring last year for Fairmont State averaging 14.0 points.

Fairmont State's Brooke Kurucz and Sierra Kotchman.
All-American Marissa Brown

West Liberty is slotted fourth in the preseason poll with 92 points, including one first-place vote. All-America center Marissa Brown will lead West Liberty again in 2018-19 after pouring in 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds per game last year. Guards Brandi Beader (12.8) and Audrey Tingle (7.7 pts, 5.8 apg) also return to the starting lineup for the Hilltoppers.

West Virginia State has three starters returning from last year's team that finished third in the MEC going 13-9 in league play. The Yellow Jackets are picked fifth in this year's poll. Charleston has four of its top five leading scorers back from last season to help lead the Golden Eagles and first-year head coach Becky Burke. UC was sixth in the poll with 72 points and had one first-place vote.

Abby Watson

Concord, picked to finish seventh with 62 points, will pose one of the most formidable front courts in the league in forwards Riley Fitzwater and Madison May. Fitzwater averaged a double-double with 13.9 points and 11.8 rebounds, and May added 16.1 points and 7.5 rebounds for head coach Kenny Osborne.

Urbana is picked to finish eighth in the poll with 48 points. Sylvia Hudson, an All-MEC honoree last year after averaging 16.6 points and 7.1 rebounds last year, is back to lead the Blue Knights.

After a successful career at Owens Community College, Mike Llanas begins his first season as head coach at Wheeling Jesuit. The Cardinals, led by All-MEC honoree Chenelle Moore, are picked to finish ninth. Shepherd lost the school's all-time leading scorer in Morgan Arden, but welcomes three starters back for 2018-19. West Virginia Wesleyan, picked to finish 11th, will be led by Tyra Hughes and Alexa Szelong this season. UVa-Wise, with three starters and 13 letterwinners back from last year, looks to Concord alum and former Shepherd assistant coach Jamie Cluesman to lead the Cavalier program.

2018-19 Preseason Poll

  1. Glenville State -- 110 (6)
  2. Notre Dame -- 109 (1)
  3. Fairmont State -- 98 (3)
  4. West Liberty -- 92 (1)
  5. West Virginia State -- 79
  6. Charleston -- 72 (1)
  7. Concord -- 62
  8. Urbana -- 48
  9. Wheeling Jesuit -- 43
  10. Shepherd -- 40
  11. West Virginia Wesleyan -- 20
  12. UVa-Wise -- 19

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