Ashland University's women's basketball team was picked to win its sixth Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division championship in seven seasons in the 2016-17 preseason poll released on Thursday (Oct. 27) morning.
The Eagles received six of seven first-place votes in the South, and 36 overall points. Walsh (28) is picked second, while Ohio Dominican (one first-place vote) and Findlay are tied for third with 25 overall points.
In 2015-16, Ashland finished 31-2 overall, and won the GLIAC Tournament, regular-season and South Division titles. The program's 144 victories in the last five seasons are the most in NCAA Division II women's basketball over that span.
In the North Division, Grand Valley State leads the way with five first-place votes and 47 overall points, followed by Saginaw Valley State (two first-place votes, 45) and Michigan Tech (35).
In addition to the preseason poll, a pair of Eagle junior forwards – Andi Daugherty and Laina Snyder – earned spots on the 2016-17 GLIAC preseason all-conference team in the South Division. Daugherty averaged 15.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in 2015-16, while shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 79.5 percent from the free-throw line, while Snyder averaged 15.1 points and 9.2 boards a night, set a school record with 102 steals and shot 48.7 percent from the floor and 76.4 percent from the charity stripe.
After the season, Daugherty earned WBCA honorable mention All-American, CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-American, D2CCA All-Midwest Region First Team, Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team, GLIAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, All-GLIAC Tournament Team, First-Team All-GLIAC, All-GLIAC Defensive Team, CoSIDA Academic All-District and All-GLIAC Academic Excellence honors, and Snyder landed WBCA honorable mention All-American, D2CCA All-Midwest Region First Team, All-GLIAC Tournament Team, First-Team All-GLIAC, All-GLIAC Defensive Team and All-GLIAC Academic Excellence laurels.
Ashland will begin the 2016-17 season at home in the 2016 GLIAC/Great Midwest Athletic Conference Exempt Tournament against Cedarville on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.
2016-17 GLIAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
1 – Grand Valley State 47 (5)
2 – Saginaw Valley 45 (2)
3 – Michigan Tech 35
4 – Northwood 32
5 – Northern Michigan 25
6 – Wayne State 17
7 – Ferris State
8 – Lake Superior State
1 – ASHLAND 36 (6)
2 – Walsh 28
T3 – Ohio Dominican 25 (1)
T3 – Findlay 25
5 – Hillsdale 15
6 – Tiffin 12
7 – Lake Erie 6
2016-17 GLIAC Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Teams
Rachel McInerney – Ferris State
Kayla Dawson – Grand Valley State
Morgan Anderson – Michigan Tech
Jordyn Nurenberg – Northwood
Emily Wendling – Saginaw Valley (Player of the Year)
Andi Daugherty – Ashland
Laina Snyder – Ashland
Haley Horstman – Findlay
Madi Rittinger – Ohio Dominican
Brooklyn Wooten – Walsh