WALTHAM, Mass. – Both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and the Division II Sports Information Directors Association have released their preseason top 25 and coach Barbara Stevens' Bentley University Falcons received high recognition from both organizations.
The WBCA has the Falcons tabbed for sixth following last year's 26-6 season while the D2SIDA media poll lists Bentley at number seven. Previously, the Falcons had been ranked fourth preseason by the Women's Division II Bulletin.
Bentley was one of five consensus preseason top 10 programs, the others being defending national champion Ashland University, Harding University, Colorado State-Pueblo and Virginia Union.
D2SIDA also released its East Region poll with Bentley followed in the top five by USciences, Caldwell, Adelphi and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Stevens lost her program's all-time leading scorer, Jen Gemma, to graduation but returned nine players from last year's team that won the Northeast-10 Northeast Division regular season title. Among that group were senior guards Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./ Damascus HS) and Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School), who averaged 12.3 and 11.3 points, respectively.
In addition, Stevens welcomed six-foot junior guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) back to action after an injury kept her on the sidelines last winter. She was an NE10 All-Rookie selection as a freshman when she averaged 10 points, 5.4 rebounds and nearly three assists.
Bentley opens its season Nov. 10-11 in Philadelphia with games against host Holy Family and Wilmington (Del.). The first home game will be Nov. 15 against Stonehill.