WHITTINGHAM, Vt. - Castleton State College and Colby-Sawyer College tied for the top spot in the 2014-15 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) women's basketball preseason poll. Both the Spartans and the Chargers split the 10 first place votes for a total of 94 points apiece.
Husson University earned third place with 80 points, while Maine Maritime Academy claimed fourth with 67 points and New England College was selected fifth after receiving 59 points to round out the top billing.
Voting for the preseason poll was conducted among the league's head women's basketball coaches.
The top two teams in the 2014-15 poll competed for the NAC Championship title last season, as Castleton came away with a 73-49 victory over Colby-Sawyer. After claiming their second conference title in three years, the Spartans went on to compete in the NCAA Tournament. In the first round of the national tournament, Castleton upset host Bowdoin, 64-62, which marked the first time in program history that Castleton advanced in the NCAA Tournament.
The Spartans went on to earn a 76-70 overtime victory over Plattsburgh State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to advance the team to the Sweet 16. Unfortunately, Castleton's national tournament run ended in the field of 16, as the Spartans fell to eventual national semifinalists Tufts, 55-35.
2014-15 NAC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Team Points (First Place Votes)
T1. Castleton 94 (5)
T1. Colby-Sawyer 94 (5)
3. Husson 80
4. Maine Maritime 67
5. New England 59
6. UMaine-Farmington 52
7. Johnson State 44
8. Lyndon 25
9. Thomas 21
10. Green Mountain 14
Six of the 10 NAC women's basketball teams will kick off their quest for the 2014-15 conference title this weekend. The top six teams in the 2014-15 regular-season conference standings will qualify for the conference tournament, which gets underway Tuesday, February 24, with quarterfinal action between seeds 3-6.
The top two seeds will earn a buy in the first round and will take on the two quarterfinal winners in the semifinals on Friday, February 27. The two semifinal victors will battle for the NAC championship on Saturday, February 28.