OKWU women tabbed third in KCAC preseason poll

KCAC Communications

WICHITA – Following the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Media Day, votes were tabulated for both the KCAC Media and Coaches Preseason Polls. Tabor College takes the top spot in each poll, with 14 first place votes in the Media Poll and four in the Coaches Poll.

In the Media Poll, Tabor edges Bethany College by 20 points, who finished second in the poll with two first place votes. Oklahoma Wesleyan University finished third in the media voting with 195 total votes and one first place votes, while Friends University finished fourth with 173 votes and the final 2 first place votes.

The Coaches Poll gives just a one-point edge to Tabor over Bethany for first place. Three points then separate the Falcons from the Eagles of Oklahoma Wesleyan who sit in third with 128 points.

After a season plagued with injuries, Tabor came out on top in the KCAC Tournament as the 7-seed, defeating Friends 73-67 at Hartman Arena. The Bluejays went on to Sioux City, Iowa for the NAIA DII Women’s Basketball Tournament, but fell to Saint Xavier, 47-67, in the first round.

Tabor returns three all-conference players in Second Team performer Taylor Deniston (SR/Holcomb, Kan.), Third Team selection Morgan Ediger (SR/Cimarron, Kan.) and Honorable Mention pick Tristen Leisler.  Sammy Jo Peterson (SO/Cottonwood Falls, Kan.) also gained all-conference recognition, being named to the KCAC All-Freshman team.

Deniston led the Bluejays in total scoring, shouldering much of the load during Ediger’s absence due to injury. Ediger led the team in scoring per game at 15.5 points per game. Leisler shot 42 percent from beyond the arc and Peterson averaged 8.6 points per game in her freshman campaign.

The Swedes finished second in the KCAC last season with a 14-8 conference record. Returning this year for the Swedes are four starters and nine letterman, including junior Lauren Welsch who led Bethany with 12.5 points per game during her sophomore campaign. The Swede lose two seniors, Sydney Ahaneku who was the fifth starter and the 2017-18 KCAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Samirah Miller who was often the Swedes’ sixth man.

2018-2019 KCAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Media Poll

RANK SCHOOL TOTAL POINTS
1 Tabor College (14) 216
2 Bethany College (2) 196
3 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (1) 195
4 Friends University (2) 173
5 Sterling College 164
6 Kansas Wesleyan University 152
7 University of Saint Mary 121
8 McPherson College 111
9 Avila University 108
10 Bethel College 105
11 Ottawa University 96
12 Southwestern College 73
13 York College 19

2018-2019 KCAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

RANK SCHOOL TOTAL POINTS
1 Tabor College (4) 132
2 Bethany College (5) 131
3 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (3) 128
4 Sterling College 104
5 Friends University 89
6 Kansas Wesleyan University (1) 84
7 Avila University 65
8 University of Saint Mary 61
9 Bethel College 59
10 McPherson College 55
11 Ottawa University 51
12 Southwestern College 43
13 York College 12