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WCC Women's Basketball Weekly Notes

Nov. 14, 2008

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Gonzaga Edges Loyola Marymount For Top Spot In WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been selected as the preseason favorite to win the WCC title this year, receiving seven out of the eight first place votes, for 49 points, as voted on by the league head coaches. The Zags edged out Loyola Marymount, who received one first place vote for 40 points. Coming in a close third to the Lions was San Diego, last year's WCC Tournament Champion, with 37 points. In the middle of the pack were Saint Mary's, with 29 points for a fourth place finish, and Santa Clara, who received 20 points for the fifth spot. Pepperdine fell just short of the Broncos, with 19 points for sixth place. Rounding out the poll are Portland, with 16 points, and San Francisco, with 14.
1. Gonzaga - 49 (7)
2. Loyola Marymount - 40 (1)
3. San Diego - 37 (1)
4. Saint Mary's - 29
5. Santa Clara - 20
6. Pepperdine - 19
7. Portland - 16
8. San Francisco - 14

(First place votes)

2008-09 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team
The WCC Preseason All-Conference team is highlighted by five returning 2008 All-WCC first team members. Headlining the preseason all-conference list was Gonzaga's Heather Bowman, the reigning WCC Player of the Year, as well as the Zags' Courtney Vandersloot and Jami Schaefer, last season's WCC Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

2008-09 WCC Women's Preseason All-Conference Team

NAME                 SCHOOL           POS        YRMiranda Ayim         Pepperdine       Center     JRHeather Bowman       Gonzaga          Forward    JRLaiken Dollente      Portland         Guard      JRMaija Lahde          Saint Mary's     Forward    SRNecolia Simmons      San Francisco    Center     SRJontelle Smith       Saint Mary's     Guard      SRAmber Sprague        San Diego        Center     SRLouella Tomlinson    Saint Mary's     Center     SOCourtney Vandersloot Gonzaga          Guard      SORenahy Young         Saint Mary's     Guard      SO

Five Conference Games Slated For National TV Broadcasts

This season, a total of five WCC women's basketball games will appear on national TV on the CBS College Network as well as ESPNU. Three of the games will air on the CBS College Network, with two on ESPNU, including the WCC Tournament championship game from Las Vegas.

WCC Women's Hoops On Television 2008-09

Date    Game                           Time          NetworkJan. 15 Gonzaga at Santa Clara         7:00 pm (PT)  CBS College SportsJan. 17 San Diego at Loyola Marymount  8:00 pm (PT)  ESPNUFeb. 5  Saint Mary's at San Francisco  7:00 pm (PT)  CBS College SportsFeb. 19 Portland at Pepperdine         7:00 pm (PT)  CBS College SportsMar. 9  WCC Tournament Championship    12:00 pm (PT) ESPNU


Overall Record: 0-0
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga was chosen as the favorite to claim the conference title in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • Headlining the Gonzaga returners are 2008 WCC Player of the Year Heather Bowman, Defensive Player of the Year Jami Schaefer, and Newcomer of the Year Courtney Vandersloot. Vandersloot will enter the year as the conference's steals leader and team leader in assists.

  • Junior forward Bowman became the first Bulldog player to be named to the preseason Women's Wooden Award All-American Team.

  • The Bulldogs received votes in the ESPN/USA Today's Coaches' Preseason Poll.

  • Gonzaga opens the regular season at home against Eastern Oregon (11/14) before heading to Seattle to face Washington (11/16).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount was selected to finish second in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • Coming off a fourth place finish, the Lions return eight letterwinners and 12 players overall on a roster that features 11 freshmen and sophomores.

  • The Lions' returning group will be led by the team's two guards, leading scorer sophomore Renahy Young and leading three-point shooter junior Lisa Helmers.

  • Loyola Marymount's defense will continue to look to senior guard Cassady Moore. With 111 steals, Moore is on pace to finish to finish among the top-10 in school history.

  • The Lions travel to Hawaii this weekend where they will participate in the Bank of Hawai'i Invitational. Their first game will be against the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (11/14).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • After finishing sixth in the conference, Pepperdine hopes to bounce back this season with the addition of five new freshmen.

  • Among the incoming freshmen class are two players from Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep, guard Lauren Bell and guard/forward Jazmine Jackson, who in their high school careers, were ranked #1 in the nation and went 126-8 in their four seasons.

  • Returning for the Waves are nine players, one of which is senior guard Jessica Ross, who was ranked 14th in the WCC in three-pointers made per game and 15th in steals.

  • The Waves' leading point scorer, junior center Miranda Ayim, who led the WCC in field goal percentage last season, also returns. Ayim was selected to the All-WCC First Team last year.

  • Pepperdine begins the regular season at home against Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (11/14).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland was chosen to finish seventh in the WCC preseason poll.

  • Junior guard Laiken Dollente was voted to the WCC's preseason all-conference team. Dollente led the Pilots in scoring last season and finished second in the country in free throw shooting.

  • The Pilots also return eight other players, two of which include senior forward Allyson Sievers and senior guard Karlie Burris, who earned all-conference honorable mention last season.

  • New to the roster are freshmen, Nakeisha Brown and ReZina TecleMariam, and sophomore Nicole Gardner.

  • Portland will travel to Utah State (11/14) to begin regular season play.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's was picked to finish fourth in the West Coast Conference this season.

  • Among the returning players are senior guard Jontelle Smith, who led the WCC in three-pointers made per game, and Louella Tomlinson, who broke the NCAA record for blocks in a seaon and currently holds the school record for career blocks.

  • After suffering from a season ending knee injury, senior forward Maija Lahde will return for a fifth year with the Gaels.

  • With only two seniors on the team, six freshmen and one transfer have been brought in to complete the Saint Mary's roster.

  • Saint Mary's will jump start the regular season in Texas against Old Dominion (11/15).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego, who captured the WCC title last year, was picked third in this year's poll.

  • The Toreros will be returning four starters, including senior center Amber Sprague, who is second all-time in career points at San Diego. A member of the All-WCC first team last year, Sprague also led the team in rebounds and blocks.

  • Sophomore Sam Child is also back this season. Child averaged 11.8 points per game and was selected to the All-WCC Fresman team last season.

  • New to the team are freshmen guards Dominique Conners (Oceanside, CA) and Morgan Woodrow (Fremont, CA).

  • San Diego will begin the regular season with a home game against UC San Diego (11/14).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • This year, San Francisco looks to rebound from a 14-16 season.

  • The Dons will look to the two returning seniors and team's top scorers, Shay Rollins and Necolia Simmons, to lead the team. Rollins is currently on pace to set the San Francisco record for three-pointers and to become the 17th member of school history to record 1,000 or more career points. Simmons garnered All-WCC Honorable mention last season and enters this year as the team's leading rebounder.

  • San Francisco has said goodbye to six letter winners, including four starters, from last year's squad. To help fill in those spots are two key transfers, Danesha Wright and Nnenna Okereke, and five incoming freshmen.

  • The Dons set off their regular season on the road against defending national champion Tennessee (11/15).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara, the second place WCC team last year, was picked to finish fifth in this year's WCC Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • The Broncos' first-year head coach Jennifer Mountain will be accompanied by newly appointed assistant coaches Leigh Gregory and J.R. Payne.

  • Santa Clara welcomes back six letterwinners and two starters from last season, senior guards Elizabeth Doran and Sara Majors. Doran and Majors enter as the team's leading scorer and assists leader, respectively.

  • Five new names have been added to the roster, including transfer Lena Gipson, a sophomore forward who was a NorCal State MVP last season and earned All-America honors.

  • Santa Clara starts regular season play at Cal State Fullerton (11/14).