Corsairs' Ranked No. 3 In Little East Preseason Poll
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is ranked third in the Little East Conference, according to the 2013-14 preseason coaches' poll that was released this afternoon by the conference office. The Corsairs earned one first place vote and 49 total points to earn the program's highest finish in the annual survey.
The University of Southern Maine was selected as the preseason favorite for the 11th time in conference history, receiving four first-place votes and 59 total points. Eastern Connecticut State University was second in the eight-team field with 54 points, including the remaining three first-place votes.
Under the direction of Amanda Van Voorhis, UMass Dartmouth registered the program's most successful season in terms of victories with a 20-8 overall record. The Corsairs put two additional wins between the previous standard held by the 1987-88 (18-8) and 1988-89 (18-9) teams.
UMD closed strong down the stretch—winning seven of its final nine games—to finish in the three-way tie with Eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island College for third in the conference standings. UMass Dartmouth won the tie-breaker to earn the No. 3 seed and a home game against sixth-seeded UMass Boston in the quarterfinals. The Corsairs defeated their intra-state rivals to establish a new program record for wins and advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2004. UMass Dartmouth edged second-seeded Western Connecticut in overtime to make the program's debut in the Little East tournament championship game.
The Corsairs will have to fill the void of the loss of 2013 Little East Player of the Year Colleen Moriarty (Canton, Mass.). Moriarty became the first UMD women's basketball player to earn the coveted top player award, while also garnering All-Region honors from D3Hoops.com and the Eastern College Athletic Conference. She was the sixth UMass Dartmouth player in program history to reach the 1,000-point barrier, scoring a career-high 35 points at Plymouth State on Jan. 26. Moriarty completed her tenure in North Dartmouth with 1,174 points.
Van Voorhis will return nine student-athletes from the 2012-13 roster, while welcoming in five first-years into the program. Senior Erika Bornemann (Canton, Mass.) is the Corsairs top scoring threat after averaging 12.4 points per game as a junior. The 2013 All-Little East, second-team selection also led UMD in rebounds (9.0rpg), while ranking second in blocks (48). Borneman is just 84 points away from becoming the seventh player in Corsair history to reach the 1,000-point club. Junior point guard Kelsey Garrity (Somerville, Mass.) will provide the Corsairs with a talented inside-outside combination. Garrity handed out 134 assists as a sophomore, while ranking third in points per game (9.4).
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will open its 2013-14 schedule by hosting Elms College in the first round of the Fairfield Inn & Suites Classic at 1 p.m. on Friday, November 15. The Corsairs will be back in action the following afternoon at 2 p.m., facing the winner between Castleton State and Framingham State.
UMass Dartmouth will face three teams that advanced to the 2013 NCAA Division III tournament. The Corsairs will travel to Bridgewater State on Dec. 1 before participating in a home and away series with Southern Maine (Jan. 11, Feb. 8).
Van Voorhis and her charges will face a 14-game double round robin conference schedule, beginning on Dec. 7 when UMass Dartmouth will travel to Plymouth State University for a 1 p.m. tip-off. The Corsairs will play the remaining 13-Little East contests in the second semester with seven home games at the Tripp Athletic Center. UMass Dartmouth will close out its regular-season at Keene State on Saturday, Feb. 22.
All eight teams advance to the 2014 Little East Women's Basketball Championship with the top four teams in the final regular-season standings hosting home games on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The semifinals will be held on Friday, Feb. 28 at the highest remaining seed with the championship game the following afternoon. The 2014 Little East tournament champion will earn the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament.
FOLLOWING THE CORSAIRS:
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth athletics department will provide its fans will real-time statistics and a video broadcast for all Corsair women's basketball contests. Click on the 2013-14 schedule for the multimedia links.