ATLANTA – The Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team has made it an even five years as a fixture in the USA Today Sports/ESPN Division II Top 25 coaches’ poll, premiering at No. 22 in Tuesday’s preseason rankings.

The Seawolves, who finished No. 7 in last year’s final poll, extended the longest streak in NCAA Div. II to 82 straight weeks in the top 25, dating back to the Oct. 31, 2007 rankings. This marks the lowest ranking during the streak, having previously stood no worse than No. 19.

Ashland (Ohio), which defeated UAA in the 2012 NCAA Quarterfinals, gained the No. 1 nod with 23 first-place votes. UC San Diego, which UAA beat for the West Regional title, is the region’s highest-ranked team at No. 8, while Western Washington is the highest-ranked Great Northwest Athletic Conference team at No. 14.

UAA returns one starter – senior point guard Sasha King – from a 30-5 campaign that included the GNAC regular-season and tournament titles. Senior forward Alysa Horn, who came off the bench in all 35 games last year, is the Seawolves’ top returning scorer (9.0 ppg) and rebounder (5.0).

The Seawolves open the 2012-13 campaign this week when they travel to Tempe, Ariz., for an exhibition game against Div. I Arizona State on Sunday, Nov. 4 at noon AST. UAA starts the regular season when it hosts Colorado School of Mines on Nov. 9 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.