PORTLAND, Ore. – Winners of three straight titles, the Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team has been picked to continue its run of success, finishing atop the 2017-18 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released by the league office Monday.

The Seawolves – who went 30-2 overall and 20-0 in the GNAC last season – received 106 points in the poll, voted upon by the conference’s head coaches. UAA got six of the 11 first-place votes, with two going to poll runner-up Seattle Pacific (103 pts). Central Washington got two first-place votes and Northwest Nazarene one as those programs tied for third with 85 poll points.

UAA returns one starter – preseason All-GNAC guard Tara Thompson (8.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, .436 3FG) – and four more letterwinners from the team that won a third consecutive GNAC Tournament title as well. Alongside Thompson, the Seawolves feature another preseason all-league pick in senior forward Shelby Cloninger (8.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg), junior center Hannah Wandersee (7.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, .506 FG), senior guard Kaitlyn Hurley (6.4 ppg, .388 3FG), and sophomore point guard Yazmeen Goo (2.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.1 apg) from last season.

Among his seven active newcomers, 6th-year head coach Ryan McCarthy will rely heavily two-time JC first-team All-American guard Sydni Stallworth (Pima [Ariz.] CC) and junior guard Kian McNair, who comes north from Div. I Portland State.

The Seawolves are in Charlotte, N.C., to begin the season with a regular-season contest against NAIA foe Johnson & Wales on Thursday at 3 p.m. ADT., before facing Div. I power Duke in an exhibition game on Sunday at 2 p.m. ADT in Durham, N.C.

For ticket information, visit GoSeawolves.com or call 907-786-1562.

2017-18 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team (1st-place votes)      2016-17 Records     Pts
1. Alaska Anchorage (6)     30-2 (20-0, 1st)    106
2. Seattle Pacific (2)      19-11 (10-10, t4th) 103
3. Central Washington (2)   15-15 (9-11, t6th)   85
4. Northwest Nazarene (1)   12-15 (10-10, t4th)  85
5. Simon Fraser             26-8 (15-5, 3rd)     78
6. Western Washington       26-8 (18-2, 2nd)     76
7. Montana State Billings   8-20 (5-15, 9th)     66
8. Concordia                12-16 (9-11, t6th)   55
9. Western Oregon           9-19 (4-16, 10th)    33
10. Alaska Fairbanks        13-14 (9-11, t6th)   21
11. Saint Martin’s          5-23 (1-19, 11th)    18
Points awarded on 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis