Tahlequah Daily Press

October 25, 2013

NSU women picked sixth in MIAA poll

Sports Editor

— bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

Looking at Northeastern State’s roster, it’s hard to figure out where the offense will come from in 2013-2014. The majority of the RiverHawks’ scoring graduated with Taylor Lewis, Tosha Tyler and Sarah Green.

That leaves point-scoring up to Fontana Tate, Carrington Fox or Chelsey Beathard (formerly know has Stricklen). Or perhaps the bulk of the offensive workload will fall upon a young player, such as Courtney Cowan, Lexie Lewis, Mya Walker or Che’Ron Lewis.

Still, though, there are a lot of unknowns. That’s why Northeastern State landed at No. 6 when the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association preseason polls were released on Thursday.

“We have a really new team,” NSU coach Randy Gipson said. “I really don’t know where we are. We have a lot of new faces.”

In the coaches’ poll, Emporia State picked up the No. 1 spot with eight first-place votes. Central Missouri (with five first-place votes), Washburn (one first-place vote), Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State rounded out the top five. Behind NSU (from seventh to 14th) is Northwest Missouri State, Missouri Western, Missouri Southern, Southwest Baptist, Central Oklahoma, Lincoln, Lindenwood and Nebraska Kearney.

Central Missouri found itself atop the media poll with 13 first-place votes. Emporia State (seven first-place votes), Washburn (six), Fort Hays State (one) and Pittsburg State were also in the top five.

When told his team was in the No. 6 spot, Gipson said, “we’re going to operate the same way whether we’re in first or 14th.”

Gipson, though, understands why his club just narrowly missed picking up a spot in the top five.

“You can easily look on paper and see we’re graduating the bulk of our statistics,” he said. “So we’ll have to get playmaking from other sources. Even we’re not sure where it’s coming from yet. But others must think we’ll be OK.”

2013-14 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Emporia State (8)        164

2. Central Missouri (5)     158

3. Washburn (1)               143

4. Fort Hays State            130

5. Pittsburg State              124

6. Northeastern State        101

7. Northwest Missouri         94

8. Missouri Western            90

9. Missouri Southern           72

10. Southwest Baptist         66

11. Central Oklahoma         49

12. Lincoln                          36

13. Lindenwood                  28

14. Nebraska-Kearney       19

2013-14 MIAA Preseason Media Poll

1. Central Missouri (13)     359

2. Emporia State (7)          338

3. Washburn (6)                 312

4. Fort Hays State (1)        293

5. Pittsburg State              269

6. Northeastern State       267

7. Northwest Missouri      201

8. Missouri Western        187

9. Missouri Southern       171

10. Southwest Baptist     128

11.  Central Oklahoma    101

12. Lincoln                        85

13. Nebraska-Kearney     75

14. Lindenwood               49