The Hope College women’s basketball team has been picked to repeat as Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champion for the 2014-15 season.
Coach Brian Morehouse’s Flying Dutch topped the preseason coaches poll with all eight possible first-place votes and eight points. Coaches could not vote for their own teams. Hope returns six seniors on their roster as well as returning conference Most Valuable Player Maura McAfee.
POLL (First-place votes in parenthesis)
1. Hope (8) 8 pts
2. Calvin (1) 15
3. Olivet 22
4. Kalamazoo 36
5. Adrian 38
6. Albion 40
7. Saint Mary’s 46
8. Trine 55
9. Alma 62
Hope brings back a veteran lineup that went 28-1 last season, including a 16-0 league record for back-to-back MIAA championships and the 14th school history.
The Flying Dutch return six seniors on their roster as well as returning conference Most Valuable Player Maura McAfee. The 6-foot-1 junior averaged a double-double in conference play as she averaged 14.3 points and 10 rebounds a game, shooting nearly 54 percent from the field.
Also returning for Hope is sharp-shooting senior guard Brittany Berry, a second-team All-MIAA selection who shot a league-best 44 percent from 3-point range against MIAA competition.
The Flying Dutch were ranked sixth in the d3hoops.com preseason national poll.
“We’re obviously flattered the coaches would think that high of us. We hope we can live up to those expectations,” Morehouse said. “We’re a work in progress just like every team this time of the year. It’s a great thing to converse about this at this time of the year, but those championships are always earned not given. We’re going to have to get to work.”