Following a seventh place finish a season ago, Southeastern's women's basketball team has been picked to match that finish in the 2013-14 season according to the Great American Conference Preseason poll released on Tuesday.
The poll is voted on by the league's 11 coaches who rank 10 teams and are unable to vote for themselves.
The Savage Storm are coming off a 10-17 season with an 8-12 mark in league play, but return 12 letterwinners from a season ago and four players who started at least half the team's games.
Haley Schaefer is the team's top returning scorer after posting 10.2 ppg a year ago while also leading the team with 6.2 rebounds per outing.
Ronay English and Natalie Ruud are the team's lone seniors, with English averaging 9.4 ppg last season with 19 starts while Ruud chipped in 5.1 ppg and earned 10 starts.
One area the team will look to will be the other two-thirds of the junior class alongside Schaefer in Emily Williams and Cheree Kiser.Â Williams started around half the games a year ago and averaged 9.2 ppg, while Kiser came off the bench for most of the year but became an explosive offensive threat during the GAC season, reaching double-figures in eight of her final 10 games.Â Williams posted the season's best scoring outing with 26 points against Southern Arkansas, while Kiser added 25 against Arkansas-Monticello.
SE finished with 44 points in the poll, 13 behind Southern Nazarene who was sixth and 14 behind Ouachita Baptist in fifth.Â The total was eight ahead of UAM in eighth.
Harding took the top spot in the poll with 95 points and six of the 11 first-place votes, but finished just three points ahead of Southwestern Oklahoma State who had 92 points and four first-place votes.Â Arkansas Tech was third with 81 points and one first-place vote, while East Central was picked fourth with 81 points.
Henderson State was ninth in the poll with 31 points, followed by Northwestern Oklahoma State in 10th with 27 and Southern Arkansas in 11th with 15 points.
Southeastern opens the 2013-14 season with a Nov. 12 home matchup against Texas A&M-Commerce at 5:30 p.m. in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.