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Carroll College women lead 3 Frontier Conference teams in NAIA top 25

Providence, Rocky also ranked
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Posted at 12:03 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 14:02:59-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Despite the departure of Hannah Dean, who led Carroll College with 15.0 points per game last season, expectations remain high for coach Rachelle Sayers and the Fighting Saints. On Wednesday, those expectations placed Carroll seventh in the NAIA Division I women's basketball coaches' top 25 preseason poll.

Carroll went 26-8 last season, losing in the second round of the NAIA national tournament. They start the 2019-20 season as the Frontier Conference favorite, according to the coaches, and at No. 7 in the national rankings to lead three Frontier Conference teams in the top 25. The University of Providence (17th) and Rocky Mountain College (18th) are also ranked, while Lewis-Clark State and defending national champion Montana Western are among the other teams to receive votes.

Providence wasn't ranked to finish the 2018-19 season, but coach Bill Himmelberg and the Argos come in at No. 17 in the preseason rankings. Emilee Maldonado was voted the league's preseason player of the year.

Wes Keller guided Rocky to a 20-13 mark last season, including a first-round loss at the national tournament, and the Battlin' Bears were previously ranked 20th. They'll start this season at No. 18.

Lewis-Clark fell in the quarterfinals of last year's NAIA national tournament. Livingston native Brian Orr has led the Warriors for 18 seasons, compiling an overall win-loss record of 445-153. He's the all-time winningest coach in Lewis-Clark program history and currently ranks sixth among active NAIA coaches in all-time victories.

Western, under the guidance of coach Lindsay Woolley, won the 2019 national championship, but will enter the 2019-20 season unranked. The Bulldogs graduated their top four scores from last year: national player of the year Brianna King (22.7 points per game), Britt Cooper (9.7), Cierra Lamey (9.4) and Tori Anderson (7.3)

Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) is the top-ranked team, just edging out Campbellsville (Ky.). Oklahoma City, The Master's (Calif.) and Wayland Baptist (Texas) make up the rest of the top five. The Master's, Freed-Hardeman and Oklahoma City all lost to Western in last year's national tournament.

2019-20 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll

RANKLAST TIMESCHOOL2019 RECORDPOINTS
11Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)34-3217
22Campbellsville (Ky.)33-3207
310Oklahoma City33-5201
45The Master's (Calif.)28-7199
57Wayland Baptist (Texas)29-6187
612Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)28-7178
76Carroll (Mont.)26-8173
88Westmont (Calif.)24-8171
93Columbia (Mo.)29-4163
1013Vanguard (Calif.)22-10153
1114Shawnee State (Ohio)25-10148
12NRCentral Methodist (Mo.)20-12145
1316Talladega (Ala.)28-6133
1410MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)25-6129
1517Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)23-11101
1615Bethel (Tenn.)28-6100
17RVProvidence (Mont.) (Mont.)18-1499
1820Rocky Mountain (Mont.)20-1395
19RVClarke (Iowa)23-1294
2018Lyon (Ark.)25-889
21NRThomas More (Ky.)32-076
2219Menlo (Calif.)20-1072
23RVLSU Alexandria (La.)22-865
2422Loyola (La.)26-760
259William Penn (Iowa)30-354

Receiving Votes: Lewis-Clark (Idaho) 49, Xavier (La.) 43, Montana Western 31, Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 26, Georgetown (Ky.) 23, Science & Arts of Oklahoma 17, Pikeville (Ky.) 10, William Jessup (Calif.) 3