Oct. 12, 2006
MACON, Ga. - Reigning regular season champion Belmont occupied the top spot in both the Atlantic Sun coaches and preseason polls as announced by the league office on Thursday. The Bruins received 23 first place votes between the two polls and are predicted to win the A-Sun Tournament, according to the media poll. Despite only reaching the semi-finals of last season's championship, Belmont saw post-season action in the WNIT, dropping its eighth match of the season to Tennessee Tech.
After reaching the A-Sun Finals last season, Gardner-Webb has emerged as the second place choice by the coaches and media alike. With a combined 11 first place votes in both polls, the Bulldogs were also selected to take the A-Sun Championship in the coaches poll.
ETSU is predicted to finish third in both polls. Last season, the Lady Bucs started off hot and eventually posted an 18-10 overall record and a 14-6 A-Sun mark in their first season of league competition. The third place prediction is a far cry from team's sixth place spot in the coaches poll a season ago.
Campbell claimed the fourth spot in both polls. The Camels went 11-18 overall and tied for fifth with Mercer last season.
Ranked fifth among the coaches and sixth by the media was Jacksonville. Mercer was ranked fifth by the media and sixth by the coaches.
2006-07 A-Sun Coaches Poll
1. Belmont (7) 97
2. Gardner-Webb (3) 90
3. ETSU 72
4. Campbell 65
5. Jacksonville 55
6. Mercer 54
7. Stetson 39
8. Lipscomb 36
9. UNF 27
10. Kennesaw State 15
Tournament Champion: Gardner-Webb
2006-07 A-Sun Media Poll
1. Belmont (16) 196
2. Gardner-Webb (4) 172
3. ETSU 154
4. Campbell 134
5. Mercer 112
6. Jacksonville 94
7. Lipscomb 86
8. UNF 66
9. Stetson 60
10. Kennesaw State 26
Tournament Champion: Belmont
2006-07 A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year
Alysha Clark, Belmont
2006-07 Preseason All-Atlantic Sun
Ashley Williams, Jacksonville (Sr./G/Jacksonville, Fla.)
Alysha Clark, Belmont (So./F/Mt. Juliet, Tenn.)
Sarah Russell, Mercer (Sr./G/St. Simons Island, Ga.)
Adrienne Rieley, Campbell (Sr./F/Hope Mills, N.C.)
Shameka Smith, Gardner-Webb (Sr./F/Bessemer City, N.C.)
The Atlantic Sun Media Relations staff provided information for this story.