SALT LAKE CITY, Utah The University of Nevada women’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in the WAC Preseason Coaches Poll and third in the Media Poll the Western Athletic Conference announced Wednesday morning.
In the coaches poll, Boise State, the 2006-07 WAC regular season co-champion and tournament winner, received seven first place votes and 63 points. Nevada captured second place with 52 points, receiving one first-place vote. Louisiana Tech took third place with 50 points, receiving the one remaining first-place vote. With 39 points, Fresno State was voted fourth. New Mexico State (35) and Hawai’i (31) followed closely behind in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Utah State (28) and San Jose State (15) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, while Idaho (11) was ranked ninth.
Junior guard Dellena Criner, an All-WAC First Team honoree last season, was named to the Preseason All-WAC First Team while junior guard Brandi Fitzgerald was named to the Preseason All-WAC Second Team.
Boise State was also picked to finish first in the media poll. Boise State received 128 points and nine first-place votes. Louisiana Tech was picked second with 109 points and two first place votes. Nevada garnered 98 points and a first place vote for third place followed by New Mexico State with two first place votes and 94 points. Fresno State was fifth with one first place vote and 85 points followed by Hawai’i (63), Utah State (46), Idaho (27) and San Jose State (25).
The All-WAC team includes Thompson, Nevada junior guard Dellena Criner, New Mexico State senior forward Sherell Neal, Idaho sophomore post Katie Madison, and Fresno State senior guard Tierre Wilson.
Nevada returns nine members from last season’s team that recorded a 17-15 overall record and advanced to the WNIT for the first time in school history. The Pack finished third in the WAC last season recording a 10-6 mark. Nevada returns three starters, Criner, Fitzgerald and Andrea Sitton, from last season’s team and welcomes five newcomers.
The Pack opens the 2007-08 season on November 3 with an exhibition game against Sonoma State at 4:30 p.m. Nevada will open the regular season at home on November 9 and 11 hosting Santa Clara and San Diego State.
2007-08 Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll
Rank Teams (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Boise State (7) 63
2. Nevada (1) 52
3. Louisiana Tech (1) 50
4. Fresno State 39
5. New Mexico State 35
6. Hawai’i 31
7. Utah State 28
8. San Jose State 15
9. Idaho 11
Preseason All-WAC Teams
First Team Second Team
Dellena Criner, Jr., G, Nevada Shanavia Dowdell, So., F, La. Tech
Sherell Neal, Sr., F, New Mexico St. Brandi Fitzgerald, Sr., G, Nevada
Tanya Smith, Sr., F, Hawai’i Tasha Harris, Sr., G, Boise State
Jessica Thompson, Jr., G, Boise St. Katie Madison, So., P, Idaho
Tierre Wilson, Sr., G, Fresno State Taylor Richards, Sr., G, Utah State
Player of the Year: Jessica Thompson, Jr., G, Boise State
2007-08 Preseason Women’s Basketball Media Poll
Rank Team Points
1. BoiseState (9) 128
2. Louisiana Tech (2) 109
3. Nevada (1) 98
4. New Mexico State(2) 94
5. Fresno State(1) 85
6. Hawai’i 63
7. Utah State 46
8. Idaho 27
9. San Jose State 25
Preseason All-WAC Team
Dellena Criner, Jr., G, Nevada
Sherell Neal, Sr., F, New Mexico State
Katie Madison, So., P, Idaho
Jessica Thompson, Jr., G, Boise State
Tierre Wilson, Sr., G, Fresno State
Preseason Player of the Year: Jessica Thompson, Jr., G, Boise State