(Editor’s note: Carroll College media release)
HELENA – The defending Frontier Conference women’s basketball champion Carroll College Fighting Saints plays Gonzaga, Montana and Montana State in exhibition games and hosts five non-conference games, including a pair of perennial top-25 teams in The Master’s and Westmont to highlight the 2018-19 season.
“We have another challenging pre-season ahead of us,” head coach Rachelle Sayers said. “This might be our most challenging pre-season but it is important that we learn tough lessons early before we enter into conference play. I believe we have the best conference in the country and there are no nights off, so it is important that our preseason prepares us for that. Our players understand that and they want to play tough teams every year. I am really excited about having Westmont and The Master’s at home, those two games, in particular, will be huge for us.”
The schedule not only includes tough home games but a slew of challenging non-conference road and neutral-site contests.
Carroll plays four teams in the non-conference slate that finished in the NAIA DI final top-25; Westmont (No.4), Science & Arts (No. 13), Our Lady of the Lake (No. 16) and Menlo (No. 23). The Master’s received votes.
The Saints play a pair of games in Billings on Thanksgiving weekend, including a game against NCAA DII Elite Eight team MSU Billings. Carroll also plays Science and Arts, Menlo College and Our Lady of the Lake in Phoenix at the Phoenix Frontier Classic the week before Christmas.
Carroll tips off the home schedule with the third-annual field trip game against Calumet College of St. Joseph on Nov. 1 at 12 p.m.
On Nov. 11, the Saints host Corban University, led by first-year coach Bill Pilgeram, the Carroll men’s all-time leading scorer.
The Saints host Providence (Nov. 29) and MSU-Northern (Dec. 1) to open Frontier Conference action before hosting Alberta-Augustana in the last non-conference home game of the season.
In the three-round conference slate, the Saints host Montana Tech, MSU-Northern and Providence two out of three games while traveling to Rocky Mountain, Lewis-Clark and Montana Western in two out of three.
Montana Western (No. 14), Rocky Mountain (No. 17) and Providence (RV) were all recognized in the final coaches’ poll among Frontier Conference teams.
Carroll hosts three of the final four games to close out the regular season.
The Saints return Second-Team All-American Hannah Dean and Cassidy Hashley, a Third-Team All-American during the 2016-17 season returns from a redshirt year.