BAY CITY, Mich.– The chase for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference appears destined to be as tough as ever with a number of teams returning some serious star power on the court for the 2011-12 season.
This could be a season of star power for women’s basketball in the conference as several top individual players are back led by the Grand Valley State University duo of 6-2 junior center Alex Stelfox and 5-9 junior forward Briauna Taylor. In addition to the GVSU duo, Laura Bardall returns for the University of Findlay, as a senior, along with Hillsdale College senior Chelsea Harrison, Tiffin senior Mandy Jaeb and AU senior Jena Stutzman. All of the aforementioned were first-team all-conference performers last season. A number of student-athletes who earned second-team all-league honors are back and could emerge to shine as stars this winter.
The 2010-11 season witnessed a great run by Michigan Tech as it advanced all the way to the NCAA Division II National Championship game where it was defeated by Clayton State, 69-50 on March 25. GVSU also earned a bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament as it dropped a first-round contest to Drury, 67-60 on March 11 in Houghton.
Prior to that, the Huskies won the GLIAC regular-season championship and defeated Ashland 63-53 on March 6 to win the GLIAC Tournament.
In the North Division, Michigan Tech was picked first in the 2010-11 GLIAC Preseason Women’s Basketball Media Poll with 23 first-place votes and 174 points. Grand Valley State was selected second with one first-place votes and 145 points. In third place was Lake Superior State with 106 points, Northwood was fourth with 94 points, Ferris State was fifth with 83 points, Northern Michigan was sixth with 58 points and Saginaw Valley State was seventh with 38 points.
The 2011-12 North Division Preseason All-GLIAC First Team consists of Maria Blazejewski, a junior forward from LSSU; Sam Hoyt, a junior guard from MTU; Alex Stelfox, a junior center from Grand Valley State; Briauna Taylor, a junior guard from GVSU and Emma Veach, a junior guard from MTU. The Second Team is comprised of Hillary Bowling, a senior guard from NMU; Rachel Church, a junior guard from NU; Chelsea Lyons, a senior guard from NMU; Casey Schemberger, a senior forward from LSSU; and Savannah Stedman, a senior center from NU.
In the South Division, Ashland was first with 153 points and nine first-place votes, Findlay was second with 152 points and 10 first-place votes, Hillsdale was third with 136 points and four first-place votes and Tiffin was fourth with 100 points and one first-place vote. Wayne State was fifth with 77 points, Ohio Dominican was sixth with 53 points and Lake Erie was seventh with 29 points.
The 2011-12 South Division Preseason All-GLIAC First Team consists of Clare Aubry, a senior guard from UF; Laura Bardall, a senior forward from UF; Chelsea Harrison, a senior forward from HC, Mandy Jaeb, a senior forward from TU; and Jena Stutzman, a senior guard from AU. The Second Team consists of Phaebre Colbert, a junior forward from WSU; Abby Glover, a senior forward from ODU; Jessica Harris, a junior forward from TU; Alyssa Miller, a sophomore guard from AU; and Stephanie Rogers, a senior guard from LEC.
Prepared by Sandy Gholston; GLIAC
# # # NMU # # #
1. Michigan Technological University
2. Grand Valley State University
3. Lake Superior State
5. Ferris State
6. Northern Michigan
7. Saginaw Valley State
5. Wayne State
6. Ohio Dominican University
7. Lake Erie