Women’s basketball is predicted to finish third in the conference this season, according to a coaches’ poll released Tuesday.
The defending Atlantic 10 champions’ third-place slotting is the highest for the program since they were expected to finish first in the conference in the 2015-16 season. Third place is the highest expected finish under head coach Jennifer Rizzotti.
The Colonials are tied for third with Fordham, a team that went 12–4 in A-10 play last season.
The team was slated to finish sixth in the league last year, down from a fourth-place predicted finish ahead of the 2016-17 season.
Senior guard Mei-Lyn Bautista was the only Colonial named to an all-conference team.
Bautista earned a spot on the Preseason All-Conference Second Team and the Preseason All-Conference Defensive Team. Last season, Bautista averaged 32.9 minutes per game and started all but one of GW’s 33 games. She dished out a team-high 141 assists – good for third in the A-10 – while averaging 8.1 points per game.
Duquesne is expected to win the conference this season, earning 12 out of 14 possible first-place votes. The Dukes’ last appearance in the A-10 Championship finals was in the 2016-17 season, when they lost to Dayton 70–56. The Dukes went 25–8 overall last season and 13–3 in A-10 play to earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
GW played Duquesne once last season, with GW dropping the game by one point in the final seconds of the match. The teams faced off in the tournament finals in 2015-16 season with GW coming out on top 63–60.
The poll was chosen by a panel of the league’s coaches and select members of the media.
The Colonials return five members from last season’s active roster. Last season, GW finished with a 19–14 record overall and went 10–6 in A-10 play. The team captured their seventh A-10 Championship title in a 65–49 win over Saint Joseph’s to advance to the NCAA Tournament, where they exited the first round with an 87–45 loss to Ohio State.
GW kicks off its season on the road Nov. 8 against James Madison. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m.
Women’s basketball A-10 2018-19 coaches poll
1. Duquesne (12 first-place votes) – 194
2. Dayton (2) – 183
3. Fordham – 159
George Washington – 159
5. Saint Joseph’s – 112
6. VCU – 108
7. Saint Louis – 104
8. George Mason – 102
9. Massachusetts – 90
10. Richmond – 87
11. Davidson – 72
12. St. Bonaventure – 46
13. Rhode Island – 31
14. La Salle – 23