WEST BABYLON, N.Y. – The defending NCAA East Regional and East Coast Conference (ECC) Regular Season Champion Queens College women's basketball team earned two first-place votes and was selected fifth in the ECC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll, the league office announced this week.
The Knights collected 62 points in the poll, while St. Thomas Aquinas topped the field with 88 points and five first-place votes. NYIT, which matched Queens with two votes for first, was tied for second in the poll with Roberts Wesleyan, which claimed the final first-place vote, with 78 points. Bridgeport received one more vote than Queens to take fourth. After Queens, it was LIU Post in sixth and Molloy in seventh. Daemen, District of Columbia and Mercy rounded out the poll.
Last season was a historic one for the Knights, setting a program record with 27 wins and ending the season ranked seventh in the nation. Queens won its first-ever NCAA East Regional title and made its first appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight. The Knights won the ECC Regular Season Championship with a 17-1 conference record, ending the regular season with 16 straight victories.
Reigning ECC Coach of the Year Elizabeth Naumovski brings eight players back from last season's Elite Eight team along with an exciting group of newcomers.
The Knights return two of their top four scorers from a season ago in sophomore Beth Bonin and senior Merrick Rowland, while Kaitlyn Mahon and Emer Moloney return for their junior seasons. Bonin, a three-time ECC Rookie of the Week, led the conference by shooting 83.6 percent from the foul line and was the team leader in three-point percentage (35.2) as a freshman. Bonin and Rowland both ranked in the top 10 in the ECC in three-pointers made last season, and Mahon was second in the ECC with a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Queens opens the new season at the Jefferson Challenge, facing Jefferson on Saturday, Nov. 11, and Chestnut Hill on Sunday, Nov. 12. The Knights will then have their home opener against Concordia (N.Y.) on Saturday, Nov. 18, while the team's ECC opener will be at Molloy on Dec. 9.