GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference announced its 2017-18 women's basketball preseason poll Monday morning, as Hanover has been picked to finish fourth by the league's head coaches.
The Panthers received 69 points in the poll, earning the fourth spot, which is where the team finished in the 2016-17 HCAC regular season standings.
Transylvania has been picked as the favorite this winter, garnering 94 points and five of the 10 first place votes. Rose-Hulman and Bluffton both tallied at least one first place vote, totaling 90 and 85 points respectively.
Rounding out the coaches' picks were Franklin (59), Defiance (41), Manchester (41), Anderson (31), Earlham (26) and Mount St. Joseph (14).
Hanover is coming off a 13-13 overall record in 2016-17, including an 11-7 mark in HCAC play. The Blue and Red improved their overall and conference win totals by four and six respectively in Year Two of John Jones' tutelage, as the team looks to continue that trend this year.
With Jones at the helm, the Panthers have posted a 22-29 overall record, including a 16-20 mark in conference action. The team will have the luxury of returning three all-HCAC performers from last year in senior Allison Nash (Speedway, Ind.) and sophomores Maleha Motter (Danville, Ind.) and Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.).
Since the 2012-13 season, Hanover has been picked to finish in the top five every year. The team has only finished outside the top five once in the past five seasons, while also registering three finishes inside the top three during the span.
Hanover will tip off the regular season with a home contest against Spalding (Ky.) on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The Panthers and Golden Eagles are slated for a 7 p.m. start inside Collier Arena.
Contact: Tyler Jester