ELMHURST, IL -- For the third straight year, defending regular season champion South Dakota State has been picked to win the 2014-15 Summit League women's basketball championship in a poll of the league’s coaches, sports information directors and select media.

South Dakota, last year's tournament champion, was picked second in the poll.

The Jackrabbits earned 27-of-32 first-place votes and 513 points in the poll.  The Coyotes gathered four first-place votes and 420 points.  Regular season runner-up IUPUI was in third place followed by Western Illinois in fourth with the final first-place vote.  Denver, which finished second at the tournament a year ago, came in fifth while Fort Wayne placed sixth. Oral Roberts, which returns to the league for the first time since 2011-12, Omaha and North Dakota State rounded out the poll.

SDSU senior Megan Waytashek earned Summit League preseason first team all-league honors for the second consecutive year. The Lino Lakes, Minn., native was a first-team all-Summit League selection after leading the Jacks in scoring (11.8), tied for second in rebounds (4.6) and was third in assists (64). She set the school record and tied The Summit League record for free-throw percentage in a single season (.918) and ranked sixth in the NCAA. Waytashek enters 2014-15 with 954 career points, 46 points shy of becoming the Jacks’ 33rd 1,000-point scorer.

Also earning preseason first-team honors was USD senior Nicole Seekamp.  Seekamp ranked fifth in the league in scoring last season at 15.5 points per game.  She was also third in free-throw percentage (88.5 percent), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6:1) and sixth in steals (53). She was named a first-team All-Summit League choice last March and was the 2013 Summit League Tournament MVP.

Coyote guards Raeshel Contreras and Tia Hemiller were voted to the second team. USD was the only team that had more than two players gain preseason honors.

Western Illinois' Ashley Luke was tabbed as the Summit League preseason Player of the Year.

Regular season play in The Summit League begins Nov. 14, with the 16-game, double round-robin league schedule starting Jan. 2. The 2015 Summit League Women's Basketball Championship will be held March 7-10, at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.

2014-15 SUMMIT LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
PLACE     TEAM     POINTS (1ST)
South Dakota State 513 (27)
South Dakota 420 (4)
IUPUI 408
Western Illinois 358 (1)
Denver 253
Fort Wayne 202
Oral Roberts 178
Omaha 165
North Dakota State 158

 

University of South Dakota