CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Akron Zips and the Central Michigan Chippewas have been selected to win their respective divisions in the 2013-14 MAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll. The poll was announced prior to the league's preseason media teleconference as voted on by the 12 head coaches of the Mid-American Conference. In addition the Chippewas received nine votes to repeat as MAC Tournament Champions in 2014.
The Zips, who received nine first-place votes in the east, come into the 2013-14 season returning four starters that reached the MAC Championship game a year ago, including Kacie Cassell, Hanna Luburgh and reigning MAC Player of the Year, Rachel Tecca. The 2010 Coach of the Year, Jodi Kest, looks to build of last season’s success, where the Zips earned their first MAC East title in program history and made their second-ever postseason appearance in the WNIT.
The Zips were followed in the East Division preseason predictions by Bowling Green,who received the final three votes in the east, followed by Buffalo, Miami, Ohio and Kent State respectively.
In the west, Central Michigan is the unanimous favorite to claim the west title for the first time in program history as Head Coach Sue Guevara enters her seventh season at the helm. Leading the Chippewas on the court will be one of the league’s most dynamic players in Crystal Bradford. Bradford put on an amazing performance at the end of last season being named the MAC Tournament MVP to give CMU their third title in school history. Bradford followed her MAC Tournament performance up by dropping 36 points and bringing in 14 rebounds in a heartbreaking first-round loss to Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament.
Behind the Chippewas in the west are Ball State, who had an amazing midseason turnaround a season ago to advance to the MAC Semifinals after a 3-10 start in non-conference play. Behind Ball State it is predicted that Toledo will finish third followed by Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois respectively.
Central Michigan also received nine of the 12 votes to repeat as tournament champions in 2014, with Akron, Bowling Green and Miami each picking up one vote as well.
The East Division Preseason All-MAC representatives are Akron’s Hanna Luburgh and Rachel Tecca, Bowling Green’s Alexis Rogers, Buffalo’s Mackenzie Loesing, and Miami’s Hannah Robertson.
From the West it is Ball State’s Nathalie Fontaine, Central Michigan’s Crystal Bradford and Jessica Green, and Toledo’s Andola Dortch and Inma Zanoguera.
The MAC regular season gets underway on Friday, November 8 as seven MAC programs take the hardwood. Conference action begins on Saturday, January 4 as all teams will start to fight for position in the MAC Women's Basketball Tournament that will take place on March 12-15 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
MAC East Preseason Poll
1. Akron (9 First Place Votes)
2. Bowling Green (3)
6. Kent State
MAC West Preseason Poll
1. Central Michigan (12 First Place Votes)
2. Ball State
4. Eastern Michigan
5. Western Michigan
6. Northern Illinois
2014 Predicted Tournament Champion
Central Michigan (9 Votes)
Bowling Green (1)
Preseason All-MAC East Team
Hanna Luburgh, Akron
Rachel Tecca, Akron
Alexis Rogers, Bowling Green
Mackenzie Loesing, Buffalo
Hannah Robertson, Miami
Preseason All-MAC West Team
Nathalie Fontaine, Ball State
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan
Jessica Green, Central Michigan
Andola Dortch, Toledo
Inma Zanoguera, Toledo