Calvin Women's Basketball Picked to Finish Third in MIAA Preseason Coaches' Poll

Calvin Women's Basketball Picked to Finish Third in MIAA Preseason Coaches' Poll

The Calvin women's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the MIAA preseason coaches' poll released this afternoon.
Defending champion Trine University was picked to repeat as league champion, receiving eight first place votes while Hope received one first place vote and was picked to finish second. 

Under the direction of head coach Chuck Winkelman, the Knights finished 22-6 overall a year ago, finishing third in the MIAA regular season standings and reaching the MIAA Tournament Championship final before falling to Trine 49-42 in a hard-fought MIAA Tournament Championship game. Included in the MIAA Tournament run was a 67-65 win over Hope that marked the 300th collegiate coaching victory of Winkelman's career.
Calvin later received an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA III Tournament where it bowed in the first round to Wisconsin-Oshkosh 63-55. 

The Knights return seven letterwinners from its 2016-17 team led by senior captains Ali Spayde (Lewis Center, OH/Worthington Christian HS) and Bre Luurtsema (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian HS). Spayde was a first team All-MIAA selection in 2016-17 as she led the league in scoring. Luurtsema was an All-MIAA second team choice last year.
Spayde averaged 16.5 points and 3.4 assists-per-game last year. She also connected on 53 three-point field goals. Luurtsema averaged 11.2 points and 6.6 rebounds a gamd during the 2016-17 season. In Calvin's NCAA III Tournament loss to Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Luurtsema scored 22 points.

Other returning letterwinners include juniors Rachel Warners (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS), Becca Richards (Fort Gratiot, Mich./Port Huron Northern HS), Sarah Cassel (Wheaton, Il./Wheaton North HS) and Logan Winton (Fairview, Mich./Fairview HS) and sophomore Nicole Meyer (Macomb. Mich./Eisenhower HS). 

A 6-2 post player, Warners averaged 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds a game last year while starting in all 28 games.  Meyer and Richards also saw significant time off the bench.
The Knights also return several players that were members of Calvin's reserve team last year as well as a cast of newcomers.

Calvin opens its season on November 15 with a trip to nearby Cornerstone University.
2017-18 MIAA Women's Basketball preseason poll
1. Trine (8 1st place votes) - 64 points
2. Hope (1 1st place vote) - 56 points
3. Calvin - 50 points
4. Albion - 43 points
5. Adrian - 35 points
6. Alma - 28 points
7. Olivet - 19 points
8. Kalamazoo - 16 points
9. Saint Mary's - 13 points