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

1Tabor College (14)216
2Bethany College (2)196
3Oklahoma Wesleyan University (1)195
4Friends University (2)173
5Sterling College164
6Kansas Wesleyan University152
7University of Saint Mary121
8McPherson College111
9Avila University108
10Bethel College105
11Ottawa University96
12Southwestern College73
13York College19

2018-2019 KCAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

1Tabor College (4)132
2Bethany College (5)131
3Oklahoma Wesleyan University (3)128
4Sterling College104
5Friends University89
6Kansas Wesleyan University (1)84
7Avila University65
8University of Saint Mary61
9Bethel College59
10McPherson College55
11Ottawa University51
12Southwestern College43
13York College12