MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State women's basketball team was picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference West Division Preseason Poll, while sophomore Nathalie Fontaine was named to the All-MAC West Division Preseason Team, which was announced by the league office.
"Preseason polls and all-conference teams are great to talk about," said Ball State second-year head women's basketball coach Brady Sallee. "Central Michigan is well deserving of its pick and Toledo deserves more respect than to be picked third. The West Division is strong, but I think the East could be exciting. Akron deserves the nod and Bowling Green is talented, but don't sleep on Buffalo, they have a nice team.”
The Cardinals were tabbed second in the MAC West Division behind Central Michigan. The Ball State women's basketball team finished the 2012-13 season with a 17-16 overall record and a 12-4 MAC mark, earning them the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament for the first time since 2009. The Cardinals knocked off Big Ten foe Minnesota and defeated Northern Iowa in the WNIT to advance to the Final 16.
Fontaine, the 2012-13 MAC Freshman of the Year, averaged 13.2 points per game and 6.6 rebounds last season. Fontaine was named to the MAC All-Freshmen squad, while also earning All-MAC Second Team honors. As a true freshman, Fontaine ended the season just nine points shy of what Ball State's all-time leading scorer Tamara Bowie had when she was a true freshman. Fontaine ended the season with 423 points while Bowie tallied 432 points her freshman year.
“Nathalie has proven herself as one of the best players in our league and deserves the recognition,” Sallee says. “I am a bit surprised with Brandy Woody's omission. She ended the year as an all-conference player, so not real sure what has changed between then and now, but rest assured, Brandy and I will have a conversation about it and use this as a motivator! We will start earning anything and everything we deserve."
Ball State opens the season with a Wednesday night 7 p.m. exhibition game vs. Oakland City. The Cardinals begin the regular season with a Sun., Nov. 10, game at Purdue.
MAC East Preseason Poll (First Place Votes)
1. Akron (9)
2. Bowling Green (3)
4. Miami University
6. Kent State
MAC West Preseason Poll
1. Central Michigan (12)
2. Ball State
4. Eastern Michigan
5. Western Michigan
6. Northern Illinois
2014 Predicted Tournament Champion
Central Michigan (9)
Bowling Green (1)
Miami University (1)
Preseason All-MAC East Team
Hanna Luburgh, Akron
Rachel Tecca, Akron
Alexis Rogers, Bowling Green
Mackenzie Loesing, Buffalo
Hannah Robertson, Miami University
Preseason All-MAC West Team
Nathalie Fontaine, Ball State
Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan
Jessica Green, Central Michigan
Andola Dortch, Toledo
Inma Zanoguera, Toledo