The Valparaiso University women's basketball team, defending Mid-Continent Conference champions, has been picked to finish in second place in the preseason poll, as selected by the league's coaches, sports information directors, and media members.
The Crusaders received eight of the 26 first place votes, the same number as preseason favorite Western Illinois, but was edged out by 13 total points in the poll.
Oakland, the defending tournament champion, was selected third, followed by Oral Roberts, Chicago State, IUPUI, UMKC, and Southern Utah.
Valpo's Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) was selected to the preseason First Team All Mid-Continent Conference, while Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) was selected to the league's preseason Second Team.
Gray, a senior, averaged 12.6 points and 6.9 rebound per game for the Brown and Gold last season, and was named to the Mid-Con Second Team.
Boone, a sophomore, was the Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year, tallying 5.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and a league best 1.88 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Valparaiso will open the regular season November 23 and 24 at the Spartan Chevrolet Classic in East Lansing, Mich. The Crusaders will play Miami (Ohio) in the opening round at 3 p.m. CST and either Michigan State or Fresno State on day two.