UMaine-Farmington's women's basketball team has been selected to finish third in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) preseason poll for the 2019-20 season.
Veteran head coach Jamie Beaudoin returns to lead the Beavers for his 20th year on the sidelines for UMaine-Farmington (6-20, 6-8 NAC). The Beavers return a key group of experienced players in junior forward McKenna Brodeur (Oakland, Maine), sophomore guard Chelsea Crockett (Newport, Maine), senior guard Sara Lamb (Topsham, Maine), sophomore forward Molly Folsom (Fairfield, Maine), and sophomore guard Makayla Wilson (Belgrade, Maine). Coach Beaudoin also expects newcomers junior guard Alex Bessey (Jay, Maine), sophomore forward Page Brown (Boothbay, Maine), and sophomore guard Tia Day (Monmouth, Maine) to help the Beavers return to the NAC playoffs this season.
Four-time defending conference champions, Husson University was picked to win their fifth-consecutive title in the 2019-20 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll. The Eagles received six first-place votes for a total of 62 points. Last year's runner-up Maine Maritime Academy received the remaining two first-place votes and 58 points in a repeat prediction.
UMaine-Farmington (40 points) and Northern Vermont-Lyndon (39 points) landed in a very tight race for third and fourth place, respectively. The NVU-Lyndon Hornets advanced to the 2019 semifinal round with a win over the Beavers.
SUNY Canton with 35 points in fifth place and Thomas College with 28 points in sixth place are also closely packed. The Canton Roos advanced to the 2019 semifinal round with a win over the Thomas Terriers.
UMaine-Presque Isle (15 points) and Northern Vermont-Johnson (11 points) complete the poll in seventh and eight places, respectively.
Head coaches vote in the preseason poll.
Non-conference action opens tomorrow, with several NAC teams taking advantage of the recently extended season and competing in tip-off tournaments. Conference games begin in early December, with the bulk of NAC contests occurring in the second semester. Six teams will qualify for the 2020 women's basketball conference championship tournament to occur over two weekends. The top two seeds will receive a bye in the quarterfinal round on Saturday, February 22, 2020. The top-seeded team based on regular-season standings will then host the final four tournaments on February 28th and 29th, 2020. The North Atlantic Conference Champion will receive an automatic qualification bid to the 2020 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship tournament.