Shelby Woodward, Sports Information Director
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending conference regular-season and tournament champion No. 11 Central Methodist University has been selected by the league coaches to repeat as the Eagles are listed No. 1 in the 2018-19 Heart of America Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll, released on Thursday morning.
With five first-place votes and 135 total points, Central Methodist looks to repeat after a 2017-18 campaign that saw the Eagles win their third overall regular-season conference title and record a 28-8 overall mark. Head coach Mike Davis needs to replace all five starters from a squad that advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NAIA National Championship. Senior Shannon Mitchell (SR/Seligman, Mo.) is the leading returning scorer as she averaged 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game a season ago.
Last preseason, the Eagles were selected third.
Checking in at the second-place position, MidAmerica Nazarene University gathered 129 points and the same amount of first-place votes (five) as Central Methodist. There was a tie for the No. 3 spot as Benedictine College and William Penn University each collected 119 points. The Ravens earned two first-place nods and William Penn posted the remaining top vote. No. 5 Grand View closed out the top five with 99 points.
All of the top five preseason selections were qualifiers in the 2018 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship in Billings, Mont.
Eagles will open their regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Midland University. Tipoff is set for 5:30 pm.