The University of the Sciences women's basketball team has been picked fifth in the 2010-11 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Pre-Season basketball poll recently released by the conference office. The conference's 14 head coaches conducted the voting.
USciences received 37 votes in the poll behind Wilmington University's 49. Holy Family University was again picked to win the Southern Division getting twelve first-place votes and 96 points. The Tigers went 30-3 overall and 19-0 in league play last season. Goldey Beacom picked up the remaining two first-place votes and finished second in the poll with 80 points. Philadelphia University finished third in the polling with 76 points.
Caldwell College collected eight first place votes and 91 points to top the Northern Division poll, while defending CACC Tournament champion Nyack College received four first-place votes and was second with 79 points. Bloomfield College was third with 70 points and two first-place nods.
The Devils return three starters and nine letter winners from last year's squad. Sciences recorded a 12-15 record in 2009-10 under first-year head coach Paul Stadelberger, finishing in fifth place in the CACC Southern Division
In the front court, Marissa Chesnavich (Bishop O'Reilly HS/Pittston, Pa.) returns for her fourth season with the Devils. Chesnavich played and started in 26 games last season, averaging 8.8 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. Another senior, Caitlin Shaw (Monmouth Regional HS/Eatontown, N.J.) should join Chesnavich in the frontcourt. Shaw played in all 27 games last season while starting six and was the Devils second leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 12.8 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Sciences have a trio of seniors in the backcourt returning who will share time as the season progresses. Alyssa Hamm (Academy Park HS/Sharon Hill, Pa.) and Melissa Rotz (Central Dauphin HS/Harrisburg, Pa.) each averaged over 32 minutes per game last season. Hamm started 26 games last season and was the Devils fourth leading scorer, averaging 7.0 points per game and was second on the team with 69 assists. Rotz started all 27 games last year and led the team with 85 assists while averaging 5.9 points/game. Colleen Christian (Central Bucks South HS/Warrington, Pa.) is the Devils best outside shooting threat, finishing second on the team with 20 three-point field goals while shooting 41.7% from beyond the arc.
Sophomores Rebecca Ruggear (Oxford HS/Oxford, Pa.) (1.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg.) and Carolyn Edwards (St. Basil's Academy/Huntington Valley, Pa.) (1.3 ppg., 1.0 rpg.) should see increased playing time in the front court as should junior Sarah Hickman (Wilmington Christian School/Newark, Del.) (3.2 ppg., 1.6 rpg) who can play both the off-guard and small-forward positions.
Also returning for the Devils is sophomore Kathleen Connelly (Brick Township HS/Brick, N.J.) while freshman Erica Simi (West Windsor-Plainsboro HS South) is the sole newcomer on the senior-laden squad this year.
USP opens its season at Cheyney University on November 13, 2009.
The 2009 CACC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll is below:
2010-11 CACC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
School 2010-11Records Points
- Caldwell (8) 15-12/11-8 CACC 91
- Nyack (4) 21-12/13-6 79
- Bloomfield (2) 11-16/11-8 70
- Felician 16-11/10-9 61
- Dominican 15-14/11-8 49
- Post 6-21/2-17 25
- Concordia 1-26/1-18 17
School 2010-11 Records Points
- Holy Family (12) 30-3/19-0 CACC 96
- Goldey-Beacom (2) 17-12/12-7 80
- Philadelphia 15-13/13-6 76
- Wilmington 15-13/12-7 49
- USciences 12-15/8-11 37
- Georgian Court 8-18/6-13 31
- Chestnut Hill 5-22/4-15 23
() – first place votes