The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association women's basketball coaches believe Albion College will finish fifth in the nine-team league, according to a poll released Wednesday morning by MIAA Director of Media Relations Sheila Blackman.
Albion, 6-10 against league rivals a year ago, return the bulk of the experience in the backcourt with seniors Oreyana Curry, Olivcia Savage and Emily Zgoda and juniors Catie Neary and Tierra Orban. At a shade less than 10 points per game last season, Curry is Albion's leading returning scorer.
Erin Nelson, a junior, is Albion's leader in the frontcourt after averaging 5 ½ rebounds per game last season.
"I like wheat we have coming back," Head Coach Doreen Carden, who is in her 16th season at Albion, said. "We have a good group of seniors and juniors that bring a lot of experience. They have played a lot since they have been here.
"The first-year student-athletes are going to get a lot of time for us," she added. "They key for us is to play together."
Albion begins the season at home Nov. 15 against Anderson (Ind.) University. The Britons will play for league games during the month of December, starting with a Dec. 3 home date against Saint Mary's (Ind.) College.
Defending MIAA champion Hope College was tabbed as the preseason favorite, gaining seven first place votes. The Britons first meeting of the season against the Flying Dutch is set for Dec. 21 in Holland, Mich.
The complete MIAA preseason poll, with first place votes in parenthesis, follows.
1. Hope (7) 63
2. Trine (2) 56
3. Calvin 52
4. Adrian 41
5. Albion 31
6. Olivet 26
7. Alma 22
8. Kalamazoo 16
9. Saint Mary's 13