TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- After reaching its first NCAA Division III Tournament appearance in program history, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women's basketball team has been picked to finish second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season in the league's preseason coaches poll.
Rose-Hulman returns eight of its top 10 scorers from a team that qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in program history in 2017. The Fightin' Engineers finished 24-4 overall and 17-1 in HCAC play, winning both the outright regular season and conference tournament championships. Rose-Hulman also won 14 consecutive games prior to the NCAA Division III Tournament last season.
The Fightin' Engineers return three starters and seven of their top nine scorers from the 2017 championship team. First-team all-league returnee Ally Bromenschenkel is joined by second-team all-conference honorees Alyzia Dilworth and Abby Bromenschenkel among returning starters.
Other top returning scorers include junior Taylor Graham (6.5 ppg); junior Chiarra Franklin (4.3 ppg); sophomore Hannah Woody (2.0 ppg); sophomore Sophie Brooks (1.8 ppg); and junior Jenna Queary (1.8 ppg).
Rose-Hulman has created the most ambitious non-conference schedule in program history. The Fightin' Engineers will face three NCAA Division III Tournament teams, and most likely four, in their first five games of the season. The slate includes a trip to the Hope College Tournament, where the host Flying Dutch reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen last season. The non-conference schedule also includes road games at NCAA qualifiers Chicago, DePauw and either Washington University or Illinois Wesleyan.
Rose-Hulman will take the court for the first time this season with an exhibition game at NCAA Division I Eastern Illinois on Monday Nov. 6.
Rose-Hulman opens its home schedule in the Dorsett Automotive Crosstown Classic on Nov. 29 against St. Mary-of-the-Woods. The non-conference home schedule also includes Birmingham Southern on Dec. 12. The conference schedule starts Dec. 2, with a home matchup against Defiance.
2017-18 HCAC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
|Finish||Team||First Place Votes||2016-17 Record||2016-17 HCAC Record|
|10||Mount St. Joseph||14||2-23||1-17|