CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon Tech women’s basketball team has been picked to finish in 3rd place in the 2019-20 Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) preseason coaches’ poll the conference office announced today.
“I am pleasantly surprised by our #3 preseason ranking in a very tough conference. With no seniors on our roster, I think that ranking reflects the quality of teams we have produced and consistency of our program over the years. While Amanda and Abby have been starters and our 4 sophomores all got significant minutes last season, virtually half our team is made up of freshman. They are talented and skilled, but they are entering their first year of college basketball and are learning on the go. I love the work ethic and support for each other on and off the floor and that is a very good place to begin.”
For the third year in a row, Eastern Oregon University was picked as the preseason Cascade Collegiate Conference favorite. The Mountaineers – who last year claimed both the regular-season and tournament championships finished with an impressive 29-4 overall and 19-1 CCC record. EOU grabbed seven first-place votes and 115 total points in the preseason coaches’ poll.
EOU was one of three CCC teams to advance to the NAIA National Tournament, with Corban University and Oregon Tech also earning bids. All three teams advanced to the round of 16 of the tournament.
The Warriors sit second in the preseason coaches’ poll after finishing the season as the tournament runner-up, grabbing 110 total points and three first-place votes. The Lady Owls grabbed 94 points in the poll to sit in third place. Southern Oregon University picked up one first-place vote, finishing with 90 points to stand in fourth. College of Idaho rounded out the top-five with 81 points.
Closing out the remaining six teams in order were: Northwest Christian University (56 points), Northwest University (55 points), Warner Pacific University (54 points), Multnomah University (30 points), The Evergreen State College (22 points), and Walla Walla University (18 points).
Lady Owls Preview
With no returning seniors, the 2019-20 Lady Owls will try to take up where the 2018-19 Lady Owls left off. Having won 14 of their last 16 games, the 2018-19 team finished the season 24-10, with a #25 final season ranking and a Sweet 16 finish in the NAIA National Tournament.
Having lost a very strong quartet of seniors (Nohea Waiwaiole – CCC 1st Team All-Conference, NAIA All-American, 3rd Team, Bailey Nelson – CCC Honorable Mention and Megan Morris – former CCC 1st team and Mikaela Shumaker), Meredith will look to returning juniors and team Co-Captains Abby Kreiser (Boise, ID, 10.3 pts/28.9 min) a CCC Honorable Mention selection and Amanda Constant (Temecula, CA, 5.3pts/25 min) who has 64 starts in blue and gold for experience and leadership. Junior Beth Derner (College of the Siskiyous – 1st Team Golden Valley Conference) is coming off a red-shirt season and is ready for play.
The Lady Owls return 4 sophomores who all saw significant action last season as freshman. Post Courtney Clemmer (Camas, WA, (8.6pts/14.9 min) set a program record for single-season field goal percentage at 59.6%. Kristin Farrell (Reno, NV, 6.6.3pts/16.3min) led the team in 3-point field goal percentage at 36%. Melissa Lee (Napavine, WA, 4.8pts, 13.9 min) who was 2nd in blocks and Kylie Meadows (Mountain Home, ID, 2.1pts/8.7min) also are entering their 2nd season for Oregon Tech.
Joining the Lady Owls in 2019-20 are freshman Eastyn Reeves (Longview, WA), Maddyson Tull (Gridley, CA), Carissa Twitchell (Red Bluff, CA), Makaila Napoleon (Eureka, CA), Courtney Bennett (Chehalis, WA), and Emma McKenney (Springfield, OR).
Returning to Oregon Tech is former Hustlin’ Owl Ryan Beesley, who joined the Lady Owls in July and will serve as the lead assistant for the Lady Owls.
OIT opens the 2019-20 campaign at home in just 11 days on Saturday, October 19 when they host NCAA DII Sonoma State University at 6:00 pm at Danny Miles Court. The Owls will them hit the road with two games at the Bill Holtz Classic at William Jessup University in Rocklin, CA. The Owls open the tournament against the host team, William Jessup, Friday November 1st and finish the tournament on Saturday November 2nd against The Masters College.
Along with the men, the Lady Owls will host the Lithia – Oregon Tech Classic November 15th and 16th with games against UC Merced and Simpson University.
Oregon Tech begins conference play on the road at Evergreen State and Northwest University December, 6th and 7th before hosting College of Idaho and and Eastern Oregon on December 20th and 21st at Danny Miles Court.
CCC Coaches Pre-season Poll
Team (First-place Votes) Points 2018-19 CCC 2018-19 Overall
1. Eastern Oregon University (7) 115 19-1 29-4
2. Corban University (3) 110 16-4 25-10
3. Oregon Tech 94 16-4 24-10
4. Southern Oregon University (1) 90 12-8 16-11
5. College of Idaho 81 11-9 16-14
6. Northwest Christian University 56 7-13 10-19
7. Northwest University 55 8-12 11-20
8. Warner Pacific University 54 11-9 15-13
9. Multnomah University 30 7-13 11-18
10. The Evergreen State College 22 0-18 2-22
11. Walla Walla University 18 1-17 2-27
The NAIA women’s basketball preseason poll will be released Oct. 22.