Brooklyn, N.Y. (October 26, 2016) – The Mount St. Mary's University women's basketball team was picked eighth in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released by the league office on Wednesday at Media Day at the Barclays Center.
Sacred Heart was tabbed the preseason favorite, receiving six of a possible nine first-place votes, while reigning NEC champions, Robert Morris, placed second with three first-place votes. Saint Francis U received the other remaining first-place vote, rounding out the top-three in the poll. Bryant, LIU Brooklyn, St. Francis Brooklyn and Central Connecticut took the 4-7 spots in the poll, and Mount St. Mary's, Fairleigh Dickinson and Wagner rounded out the final three.
The Mountaineers, who finished at 9-21 overall and 7-11 in conference play in 2015-16, closed out season strong by winning three of their final five games to earn a spot in the NEC Quarterfinals, where they fell to top-seeded and eventual runner-up, Sacred Heart.
The Mount returns 10 of 15 letterwinners from last year's squad, including senior guards Alexis Carter, Kayla Bates and Kathleen Belanger-Finn. Carter, an All-NEC Third Team selection a year ago, led the team with 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals per contest. Bates and Belanger-Finn were the team's top three-point threats last season, combining for a .356 shooting percentage from long range.
This year's recruiting class is highlighted by the additions of freshmen Kayla Agentowicz, ranked the 81st best guard in this year's class by ESPN, and Ashlee White, ranked the 80th best point guard and 306th overall recruit by The Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. The duo join fellow freshmen Katrina Scheuvront and grad transfer Mikal Johnson for their first season with the Mount.
The Mount opens the 2016-17 season at Pittsburgh on November 12 at 2 p.m., and follows with its home opener against Morgan State on November 15 at 7 p.m.
2016-17 NEC Women's Basketball Preseason poll
1. Sacred Heart (6)
2. Robert Morris (3)
3. Saint Francis U (1)
5. LIU Brooklyn
6. St. Francis Brooklyn
7. Central Connecticut
8. Mount St. Mary's
9. Fairleigh Dickinson
( ) – First-place votes
2016-17 NEC Women's Basketball Preseason All-NEC Team
Ivory Bailey, BRY, G, 5-7, Jr, Wyomissing, PA/Wilson
Shanovia Dove, LIU, G, 5-8, Sr, Palm Beach, FL/Palm Beach Lakes
Hannah Kimmel, SHU, F, 6-0, R-Sr., Harpursville, NY/Harpursville
Jessica Kovatch, SFU, G, 5-9, So, Phillipsburg, NJ/Phillipsburg
Anna Niki Stamolamprou, RMU, G, 5-9, Sr., Thessaloniki, Greece/Aristotelio College of Thessaloniki