Despite the loss of five seniors, including three of the top four players in terms of minutes played, the ODAC's coaches aren't expecting much of a fall off for the EMU basketball women. The Royals were picked for second place in the ODAC Preseason Poll, which was released this morning at the conference's media day in Salem, Va.
Eastern Mennonite, riding a string of three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, received three first-place votes and totaled 106 points in the voting. Lynchburg College earned six first-place votes and 114 total points to claim the top spot. Showing a growing balance in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, four teams were given first-place votes.
The Royals do return three starters, including the ODAC Player of the Year and All-America forward Jess Rheinheimer (Manheim, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite). A 5-10 senior, Rheinheimer scored 20.0 points with 7.8 rebounds per game last year.
EMU opens the news year next Friday and Saturday by hosting the EMU Tip-Off Classic. The women play Penn State-Altoona on the first day of the two-day event followed by Capital. Rival Bridgewater also plays a game before the Royals each day.
2015-16 ODAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Lynchburg (6) -- 114 pts.
2. Eastern Mennonite (3) -- 106 pts.
3. Randolph-Macon (1) -- 92 pts.
4. Washington and Lee (2) -- 89 pts.
5. Emory & Henry -- 81 pts.
6. Guilford -- 80 pts.
7. Bridgewater -- 66 pts.
8. Virginia Wesleyan -- 57 pts.
9. Randolph -- 36 pts.
10. Roanoke -- 34 pts.
11. Shenandoah -- 26 pts.
12. Hollins -- 11 pts.
Click here to see the ODAC Women's Basketball Virtual Media Guide, which includes dynamic information on each of the conference's teams.