The Horizon League released its women's basketball preseason poll Monday. The survey of head coaches, sports information directors, and limited media members picked Valparaiso to finish ninth. Valpo finished tied for sixth in the HL last season with a 5-11 record in conference play. The Crusaders will be without All-League Second Team player Tabitha Gerardot, but head coach Tracey Dorow welcomes an ambitious array of new faces to the program.
Valpo collected 40 points in the poll, 33 behind newcomer Oakland who checked in at eighth place. Green Bay received the most first-place votes (21) to go with 225 polling points. The Phoenix have risen to the top of the Horizon League standings each of the last 15 seasons. Wright State was tabbed to finish second with 189 points and one first-place vote. Youngstown State was selected third with 165 points. Three surveys had UIC finishing in first-place, but with 146 overall points, the Flames are expected to finish fourth. Milwaukee (136 points) was chosen fifth. Detroit checked in at sixth with 99 points despite grabbing one first-place vote. Cleveland State finished right on Detroit's heels with 97 points.
The Crusaders kick off exhibition play on Tuesday, November 5th when they welcome Saint Joseph's (Ind.) to the ARC for a 7:05 pm tip. Regular season play begins on Sunday, November 10th at 2:00 pm with a tilt in St. Louis versus the Billikens. The regular season home opener is set for Thursday, November 21st when IUPUI comes to town for a 7:05 pm start at the ARC.