Coming off of a Final Four appearance, The University of Scranton women's basketball team will open the 2019-20 season as a top-5 team in both the D3Hoops.com Top 25 rankings and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division III Coaches Poll.
Both organizations released their preseason polls today and the Lady Royals checked in at No. 3 in the D3Hoops.com poll while also receiving the most first place votes with eight. Head coach Nick DiPillo's squad was ranked fifth in the WBCA poll.
In the D3Hoops.com poll, the Lady Royals led the way with eight first place votes, while Amherst tallied six, Tufts received five first place votes and Bowdoin had four.
Amherst is ranked as the top team in both polls.
Scranton is the lone Landmark Conference team ranked in either poll.
DiPillo enters his first season at the helm of the Lady Royals after the team made a run to the Final Four a year ago before falling just short against eventual National Champion Thomas More.
The Lady Royals posted a 29-3 record and return six of their top eight scorers from the Final Four team including senior guard Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) who earned D3Hoops.com Second Team All-American honors and was named Landmark Conference Player of the Year. Mason led the team in scoring (14.0 points per game), rebounding (7.6 rebounds per game), assists (100) and blocks (53) a season ago.
Scranton will look to replace the contributions of the graduated Bridgette Mann who joined Mason in earning All-American honors from D3Hoops.com and the WBCA in 2018-19.
Other returnees include senior guards Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) and Lily Warhaftig (Harlem, N.Y./Poly Prep) along with senior forward Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) who all started 30 plus games for the Lady Royals a year ago. Sheehan was named Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Conference Second Team accolades in 2018-19 after leading the team with 40 steals and helped lead a defensive unit that allowed just 48.8 points per game, a total that ranked eighth in all of Division III.
Recupero joined Sheehan on the All-Landmark Conference Second Team after averaging 9.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season, while Warhaftig started all 31 games she appeared in and ranked third on the team with 63 assists.
The Lady Royals will also add four newcomers to the roster in 2019-20.
The University of Scranton women's basketball team will open the season against Ursinus as a part of the Gwynedd Mercy Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. To view the full 2019-20 schedule, click here.