Rio Grande / RSC Sports Information
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande was selected as the top team in the East Division and a heavy favorite in the 2022-23 River States Conference Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll released Wednesday by officials. of the league.
The announcement was made as part of the league’s Women’s Basketball Media Day activities.
The RedStorm received 10 of 13 first-place votes and 142 points in the overall RSC head coach poll.
Midway University (Ky.) is the favorite in the West Division and came second overall out of the league’s 13 schools. The Eagles received two first-place votes for the overall poll and 131 points overall.
Rio Grande finished 32-3 overall and 16-1 in the RSC last year, winning both the conference regular season and tournament championships. The RedStorm qualified for the NAIA National Championship where they won a match for the first time in program history to advance to the group.
Midway (26-8 overall, 15-2 RSC) met Rio Grande in the Conference Finals. The Eagles also advanced in the domestic tournament with a win as well.
Rio Grande, which begins its home season Nov. 2 against the University of Miami-Hamilton, also placed two players on the All-Conference preseason squad in senior guard Ella Skeens (Chillicothe, OH) and the second-year guard Kaylee Darnell (Wheelersburg, OH).
Skeens, RSC Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year last season, leads the 10-man squad. She averaged a team-best 18.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, while shooting just under 51% overall, just under 43% from 3-point range and just under 77% at the foul line.
Darnell averaged 12.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game en route to earning second-team All-RSC honors.
IU East and IU Southeast joined Rio to lead the pre-season squad with two caps each.
Indiana University East (117 points) came in third in preseason voting, followed by WVU Tech (107 points) in fourth. The top six teams in the poll also include Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College (98 pts.) and Oakland City (Ind.) University (94 pts.).
IU East was the third RSC team to take part in the national tournament last year. Red Wolves, who were RSC semi-finalists last season, finished the year 25-8, 14-3 RSC.
WVU Tech reached the conference semifinals and finished 16-16, 11-6 RSC. The Golden Bears received the final vote for first place in the overall preseason poll.
IU Kokomo and IU Southeast are tied for seventh in the poll with 70 points each. This is followed by Point Park University (Pennsylvania), Ohio Christian University, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College (Ind.), Brescia University (Ky.), and the University of Carlow (Pennsylvania).
New this year is the move of IU East to the RSC West division and Alice Lloyd to RSC East. Another change is that the top five teams in each division will qualify for the 10-team RSC Championship from four in previous years.
The rest of the all-conference preseason squad includes senior guard Addie Brown and junior guard Kennedy Griffin of IU East, IU Southeast duo of senior guards Lauren Lambdin and Emmy Ralph, junior Midway forward Dezeree White , Oakland City senior guard Taylor Dillard, Point Park senior forward Taylor Rinn and Ohio Christian senior guard Rachel Bolyard.

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