|Transylvania athletics photo by Kaden Siler; NYU athletics photo by Vincent Dusovic; Dan Hunter, d3photography.com|
If we’ve learned anything in the past decade-plus in Division III women’s basketball, it’s that the Hope College Flying Dutch aren’t going anywhere. And although the defending national champions lost four of their five starters from last season, Hope always plays a deep rotation and has plenty of players who get minutes, so there are five players back who played 10 or more minutes per game last season.
Hope gets the majority of first-place votes in the preseason poll. If you’re looking for a challenger, especially on Halloween, why not check out Transylvania? The Pioneers finished 27-1 last season, losing to Trine in the Elite 8. But if you’re asking when we’ll know if Juli Fulks’ team is No. 2 in the country good … your guess is as ours. In non-conference play, Transylvania’s highlights are UT-Dallas (15-8 last year, 12-5 in the American Southwest Conference) and Wisconsin Lutheran (23-2, 15-1 NACC), which lost to WIAC third-place team UW-Oshkosh in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament. But the Pioneers do return four starters, 89% of their scoring and 75% of their rebounding from last season.
NYU finished last season in the No. 7 spot in the poll and starts this season out in the No. 3 spots. Led by Jenny Walker (above), the UAA player of the year, the Violets went 25-2 last season and will see tests against Tufts and Bowdoin in December before embarking on the UAA slate. NYU has six No. 1 votes. The remaining two No. 1 vote goes to UW-Whitewater. After playing Hope in the national title game last year in Pittsburgh, the Warhawks lost two starters but will lean on Aleah Grundahl, Maggie Trautsch and Kacie Carollo, the daughter of head coach Keri Carollo and assistant coach Joe Carollo.
Check out the full poll.
2022-23 women’s basketball preseason D3hoops.com Top 25
The first regular-season poll is slated for release on Monday, Nov. 28.