Green Bay Tops #HLWBB Preseason Poll; Wright State's Welch Tabbed Preseason Player of the Year
INDIANAPOLIS – Defending Horizon League Women’s Basketball champion Green Bay has been chosen at the league favorite this season according to a preseason poll completed by head coaches, sports information directors, and members of the media. Wright State’s Chelsea Welch was selected as Preseason Player of the Year.
Following their Horizon League Women’s Basketball championship last season, the Green Bay Phoenix are at the top of this season’s preseason predictions. The Phoenix return Preseason All-League First Team selection Jessica Lindstrom and Second Team choice Allie LeClaire from last year’s 27-6 squad which participated in the NCAA Tournament for the 17th time in program history.
Just behind Green Bay is 2016-17 co-regular season champion Wright State. Preseason Player of the Year Chelsea Welch returns for her senior season after leading the league in scoring last season. Welch and Lexi Smith, Preseason All-League Second Team, are back to lead the Raiders after the program won its first WNIT matchup last season.
Oakland edged Milwaukee for the third place slot in the poll. The Golden Grizzlies won 12 league matchups last season and will look to count on last year’s Sixth Player of the Year Taylor Jones to move up this season. Jones was voted to the Preseason Second Team. The Panthers won 22 games last season and return Steph Kostowicz, an All-League Second Team performer last season and First Team All-League this preseason.
Detroit Mercy is predicted in fifth place this season. The Titans advanced to the championship game at Motor City Madness last year, upsetting Wright State before falling to Green Bay. Senior forward Brianne Cohen represents the Titans on the Preseason All-League First Team. Preseason All-League choices Ashanti Abshaw and Khayla Livingston will look to lead Cleveland State this season. The Vikings occupy sixth place in the preseason poll.
League newcomer IUPUI, fresh off a WNIT berth last season, is predicted to finish seventh. The Jaguars return Preseason All-League Second Team performer Danielle Lawrence and will try to make some noise in their inaugural Horizon League Season. Behind the Jags, Youngstown State, Northern Kentucky, and UIC round out the poll in eighth, ninth, and tenth place respectively.
2017-18 Horizon League Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Green Bay (21) 246
2. Wright State (4) 204
3. Oakland 139
4. Milwaukee 129
5. Detroit Mercy 126
6. Cleveland State 117
7. IUPUI 106
8. Youngstown State 93
9. Northern Kentucky 59
10. UIC 31
Player of the Year
Chelsea Welch, Wright State
Ashanti Abshaw, Cleveland State
Brianne Cohen, Detroit Mercy
Jessica Lindstrom, Green Bay
Steph Kostowicz, Milwaukee
Chelsea Welch, Wright State
Khayla Livingston, Cleveland State
Allie LeClaire, Green Bay
Danielle Lawrence, IUPUI
Taylor Jones, Oakland
Lexi Smith, Wright State