Minnesota Crookston will look to rebound and they have a strong core for 2018-19 as they return three starters.

BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball program was selected to finish 13th in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Poll released Thurs., Oct. 18 by the NSIC office.

    The Golden Eagle women's basketball team missed the NSIC Tournament quarterfinals for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Minnesota Crookston will look to rebound and they have a strong core for 2018-19 as they return three starters from 2017-18 with Isieoma Odor (R-Sr., F/C, Bloomington, Minn.),Caitlin Michaelis (Sr., G, Marshfield, Wis.), and Stephanie McWilliams (Jr., G, Grand Forks, N.D.) all back in the fray. Odor looks to lead the way with her play in the post after averaging 14.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as a redshirt junior. She was selected as NSIC Player to Watch from Minnesota Crookston. Michaelis was third on the team in scoring last season with 10.9 points per game and looks poised for a strong senior season. In addition, sophomore Abby Guidinger (So., G/F, Waukesha, Wis.) returns after an impressive finish to the season. As a freshman, she tallied 9.8 points per game.

    Minnesota Crookston also returns Paige Weakley (Jr., G/F, Kearney, Mo.), Ashley Freund (So., G/F, Jordan, Minn.), Amber Schoenicke (Jr., F/C, Marshall, Wis.), and Maria Delgado (Sr., G, London, England), who will all look to make their mark in 2018-19. Lastly, look for several newcomers to figure into the mix as Coach Mike Roysland has excitement for a strong group of eight freshman for the Golden Eagles. Minnesota Crookston added size with Bren Fox (Fr., C, Norwood Young America, Minn.), Julia Peplinski (Fr., F, Hustiford, Wis.), Mary Burke (Fr., F, Virginia, Minn.) and Alethea Kluge(Fr., F, Chisago City, Minn.) joining the effort for Minnesota Crookston. In the backcourt, the Golden Eagles brought in Kylie Post (Fr., G, Corcoran, Minn.), Kylea Praska (Fr., G, Thief River Falls, Minn.), Paige Cornale (Fr., G, Oak Creek, Wis.), and Kayla Sirjord (Fr., G, Ulen, Minn.) to compete for time.

    The Golden Eagles open up their exhibition slate Oct. 30 at University of North Dakota. They also take on University of Northwestern (Minn.) Nov. 3 at Lysaker Gymnasium, before starting the regular-season Nov. 9 on a neutral court in Wayne, Neb. against University of Nebraska-Kearney.

    The University of Sioux Falls was selected by the league coaches as the overall and south division preseason favorite in the NSIC for the 2018-19 season.  The Cougars received nine first place votes and amassed 208 points. MSU Moorhead received three first place votes to rank second with 185 points while Concordia-St. Paul got two first place votes and 178 points to sit third.  Augustana garnered the last first place vote and 175 points to rank fourth.  Minnesota Duluth was a point behind Augustana at 174 to rank fifth but was the coaches’ choice in the north division, getting two first place votes and 44 points.  MSUM was second in the north with 43 points and four first place votes.   

Overall                                             Points

1. Sioux Falls (9) - 208   

2. MSU Moorhead (3) - 185   

3. Concordia-St. Paul (2) - 178   

4. Augustana (1) - 175   

5. Minnesota Duluth - 174   

6. University of Mary (1) - 164   

7. Winona State - 163   

8. Northern State - 133   

9. Minnesota State - 114   

10. Wayne State - 98    

11. St. Cloud State - 97    

12. Southwest Minnesota State - 73

13. Minnesota Crookston - 63    

14. Minot State - 42    

15. Bemidji State - 30    

16. Upper Iowa - 23    

                                              first place votes in ( )