EMU women’s hoops get votes in national preseason polls

Even though the start of the 2012-13 basketball season is still more than two weeks away, excitement is building at Eastern Mennonite as the women are gathering some national attention.  Although not ranked in the top 25, the women have received votes in both the D3hoops.com and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches preseason polls.

In the D3hoops.com poll, EMU got four votes from a panel of 25 coaches, SID and media members to stand at 45th in the nation.  Guilford, last year’s ODAC champion, was just behind with three votes.

In the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association poll, the women garnered eight votes and are essentially ranked 31st.  The Quakers took six votes in that poll.  The USA Today/ESPN voting board is made up of eight D-III coaches, including Stephanie Flamini from Guilford.

Calvin College is the top-ranked team in both polls, followed by last year’s runner-up, George Fox, and St. Thomas (MN).

Although those two polls are the “official” polls used by the NCAA, a third poll by D-III News listed Guilford as 11th in the nation and Eastern Mennonite as 21st.

Coach Kevin Griffin returns his entire starting five from last year’s 22-4 team, including sophomores All-ODAC Second Team Kala Yoders (Myerstown, PA/Eastern Lebanon County) and All-ODAC Third Team Stephanie Rheinheimer (Manheim, PA/Lancaster Mennonite).  All-ODAC First Teamer Bianca Ygarza (Conestoga, PA/Penn Manor), who came off the bench as a sophomore, is also back, along with a strong recruiting class.

The Royals open their challenging 2012-13 schedule by taking on traditional power Kean at the Messiah Tip-Off Classic in Grantham, PA, on Nov. 16.

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