BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- The 2017-18 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference head coaches have selected the Bemidji State University women’s basketball program 14th overall and sixth in the North Division as the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released today. Senior center Sierra Senske was picked as BSU’s Player to Watch after becoming the 20th member of the 1,000-point club as a Beaver.
NSIC North Division programs Minnesota State University Moorhead and Northern State University were chosen to finish atop the conference, as MSU Moorhead received 213 points overall and 10 first-place votes and Northern State received 209 points and four first-place votes. NSIC South Division programs Augustana University and Wayne State College were picked to finish behind the NSIC North duo, with Augustana coming in third with 200 points and two first-place votes and Wayne State fourth with 182 points.
Bemidji State was selected to finish ahead of Upper Iowa University and Minot State University in the annual coaches’ poll with 43 points. While chosen to finish behind University of Minnesota Crookston in the overall poll, the Beavers were picked to finish ahead of the Golden Eagles and the Beavers of Minot State in the NSIC North Division poll. MSU Moorhead, with 47 points and five first-place votes, was the North Division favorite, followed by Northern State with 45 points and three first-place votes.
Senior forward Drew Sannes from MSU Moorhead was selected as the NSIC North Division Preseason Player of the Year while senior forward Paige Ballinger from Wayne State was chosen as the NSIC South Division Preseason Player of the Year.
NSIC coaches rank each team from one to 15 with a first place vote receiving 15 points, second place 14, third place 13, etc. Coaches do not rank their own team or vote for their own players.
Sierra Senske, a senior from Dilworth, Minn., was selected as BSU’s Player to Watch after leading the returners with 12.0 points per game last season. She pulled down a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game and shot 46.2 percent from the field. Senske became the 20th Beaver to join the 1,000-point club last season on Feb. 10 at MSU Moorhead.
The Beavers finished the 2016-17 season 7-20 overall and 4-18 in the NSIC. Bemidji State returns eight letter winners from a season ago while bringing in six true freshmen.
Head Coach Chelsea DeVille enters her third season with the program while totaling a 14-40 record with the Beavers.
Bemidji State begins the 2017-18 season Saturday, Nov. 11 with a home matchup against Valley City State University at 4 p.m. The Beavers and Vikings will face each other for the second time in the last three seasons from BSU Gymnasium.
|1. MSU Moorhead (10)||213||1. MSU Moorhead (5)||47|
|2. Northern State (4)||209||2. Northern State (3)||45|
|3. Augustana (2)||200||3. University of Mary||34|
|4. Wayne State||182||4. Minnesota Duluth||32|
|5. Winona State||152||5. St. Cloud State||26|
|6. Concordia-St. Paul||140||6. Bemidji State||15|
|7. Minnesota State||132||7. Minnesota Crookston||13|
|8. Minnesota Duluth||126||8. Minot State||12|
|9. University of Mary||125||South Division||Points|
|10. Sioux Falls||123||1. Augustana (5)||47|
|11. St. Cloud State||91||2. Wayne State (3)||44|
|12. Southwest Minn. State||58||3. Winona State||33|
|13. Minnesota Crookston||51||4. Concordia-St. Paul||29|
|14. Bemidji State||43||4. Minnesota State||29|
|15. Upper Iowa||39||6. Sioux Falls||20|
|16. Minot State||36||7. Southwest Minn. State||14|
|first place votes in ()||8. Upper Iowa||8|
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).