WBB: Lady Mavs selected as Sun Belt favorites

Nov. 2, 2017

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During head coach Krista Gerlich's first year, UTA finished the season with just four wins. To open the 2017-18 season, the Lady Mavericks are picked as the league favorite according the Sun Belt's annual Preseason Poll of league coaches announced on Thursday.

Led by now back-to-back Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year Rebekah VanDijk, UTA is coming off a 22-win season that saw the team reach the Women's NIT. VanDijk joined Cierra Johnson on the league's preseason first team, while Crystal Allen was selected to the third team.

The Lady Mavs have already had a spot light on them during the preseason as they received votes in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. The honor comes with the expectation of a five-person senior class leading the way with VanDijk, Johnson and Allen. Joining the trio is Shelby Richards and Miranda LeJune, individuals expected to have a big impact for the team.

UTA garnered seven first-place votes in the coaches poll to be named as favorites for the first time since 2006 when the team was in the Southland Conference. Little Rock was picked second with two first-place votes, while defending league champion Troy was third, also receiving two first-places votes. Louisiana rounded out the league's 12 votes for the top spot with one, being picked fourth in the overall poll.



The three preseason all-conference selections were the most of any team in the conference.

The Lady Mavs tipoff their season on Nov. 11 when they host Incarnate Word at 2:30 p.m. as part of UTA Homecoming Week. The nonconference schedule sees UTA at four Power 5 teams, while visits from SMU and Houston make up a portion of the home schedule at College Park Center.

2017-18 Conference Women's Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
first-place votes in parentheses

1. UTA (7) - 136 pts
2. Little Rock (2) - 125 pts
3. Troy (2) - 119 pts
4. Louisiana (1) - 116 pts
5. Texas State - 89 pts
6. Arkansas State - 71 pts
7. South Alabama - 70 pts
8. Georgia State - 65 pts
9. Appalachian State - 50 pts
10. Georgia Southern - 48 pts
11. Coastal Carolina - 33 pts
12. ULM - 14 pts

Preseason All-Conference First Team
Madi Story (Appalachian State, Guard, Sr.)
Simone Fields (Louisiana, Forward, Sr.)
Chyna Ellis (South Alabama, Center, Sr.)
Cierra Johnson (UTA, Guard, Sr.)
Rebekah VanDijk (UTA, Center, Sr.)

Preseason All-Conference Second Team
Jada Lewis (Georgia State, Guard, So.)
Gabriella Cortez (ULM, Forward, Sr.)
Taeler Deer (Texas State, Guard, Sr.)
Toshua Leavitt (Texas State, Guard, Jr.)
Amanda Mendoza (Troy, Guard, Sr.)

Preseason All-Conference Third Team
Madison Newby (Georgia State, Guard, So.)
Jasmine Thomas (Louisiana, Guard, So.)
Genesis Perrymond (South Alabama, Guard, Sr.)
Crystal Allen (UTA, Guard, Sr.)
Ericka May (Texas State, Forward, Sr.)

Full season and single game tickets to attend UTA men and women’s basketball events are on sale through the UTA Box Office in person or by calling (817) 272-8585 and online throughUTATickets.com. Season tickets are available for as low as $99 for all 30 men and women’s games, which comes out to $3.30 per game. Single game tickets are priced at $8, $12 and $25 per game, depending on seat location. UTA students and faculty staff tickets are available for just $5 for a single game or at a reduced rate for season tickets. Discount Maverick Club (season) and general public (single game) parking is also available. Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.

For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on Twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics.


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