Alma, Mich. – The Alma College women's basketball team received 17 points in the 2018 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association preseason poll that was announced Wednesday (Nov. 7).
The 17 points ranks eighth among the conference. Defending Champion Hope College earned the most points with 64 including eight first-place votes. Trine University received the other first place vote and was tabbed second in the poll. Albion College took third, Cavin College was named fourth followed by Adrian College, Olivet College and Saint Mary's College. Kalamazoo College also received 17 points to tie with the Scots for eighth in the poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
Alma comes off last season finishing tied for seventh in the league with a 5-20 overall record and 3-13 against MIAA opponents. They return their two leading scorers in senior forward Madeline Barnauskas (Livonia, Mich. / Dearborn Divine Child) and sophomore forward Emily Eldridge (Battle Creek, Mich. / Battle Creek Lakeview). Junior guard Madison Hill (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek) comes off a season where she led the Scots in 35.7 minutes played per game. There is also the pair of sophomore forwards Charley Hengesbach (Saginaw, Mich. / Nouvel Catholic Central) and Emily Long (Dayton, Ohio / Arch Bishop Alter) who both played in all 25 games and started over 20 in their rookie seasons.
Ryan Clark leads the Scots in his first season as head coach after spending the past six years as the assistant coach for the men's basketball team. Sami Stormont returns for her second season as assistant coach while former men's basketball player Brandon Trefil joins the bench as an assistant coach. Sophie Guzman is the Student Assistant Coach while Brooke Jackman will serve as Student Manager.
The Scots have played one exhibition game against Davenport University. The regular season tips off Saturday (Nov. 10) at Oberlin College. Alma's home opener is Monday (Nov. 12) against Bluffton University at 7:00 p.m.
This season features 25 games, 10 at Art Smith Arena and 15 on the road or at a neutral site. As part of their non-conference schedule, the Scots will host Bluffton and Earlham College. The conference schedule starts Saturday, December 1 when Trine comes to town. The final game of the regular season will be Saturday, February 16 with a home contest versus Adrian.