NSU Receives Top Billing in Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
Nova Southeastern is heavily favored to repeat as SSC women’s basketball champions in 2008-09, Commissioner Michael J. Marcil announced on Thursday.
The Sharks received 126 points and 15 of a possible 18 first-place votes in preseason polling conducted among the league’s women’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.
After NSU’s top billing, a total of just five points separated the teams ranked second through fifth. Barry, which received two first-place votes, tallied 89 points to narrowly edge third-place Lynn, which garnered 88. Tampa appeared at No. 4 with 85 points and the remaining first-place vote. Nipping at the Spartans’ heels was Rollins, which weighed in fifth with 84 points.
Florida Southern and Eckerd were also closely ranked in the poll, with Florida Southern placing sixth with 57 points. Eckerd received 53 points in the seventh-place slot. Separated, yet again, by the narrowest of margins, Florida Tech (No. 8, 34 points) and Saint Leo (No. 9, 32 points) rounded out the preseason poll.
NSU returns three starters from last year’s squad that won both the SSC regular season and tournament titles. Leading the way is preseason All-American Stephanie Sarosi, who was named conference Player of the Year in 2008. The 6-5 junior averaged a double-double last season, turning in 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per contest.
Joining Sarosi will be sophomore point guard Abbie Tepe, who earned All-Freshman honors after ranking second in the league with an average of 4.5 assists per game. Senior Eliza Allen, who contributed 10 points and four rebounds per game, will also return to the Shark lineup.
Head coach Marilyn Rule enters her 11th season at the helm of the team, having earned SSC Coach of the Year honors after leading her squad to the first 20-win season in program history. Her Sharks begin the 2008-09 campaign as the 23rd-ranked team in the Division II Bulletin preseason poll.
2008-09 SSC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
Rank – School, Points (1st Place Votes)
1 – Nova Southeastern, 126 (15)
2 – Barry, 89 (2)
3 – Lynn, 88
4 – Tampa, 85 (1)
5 – Rollins, 84
6 – Florida Southern, 57
7 – Eckerd, 53
8 – Florida Tech, 34
9 – Saint Leo, 32