Pfeiffer, Berea Tabbed as Preseason USA South Women's Basketball Top Picks
Atop the USA South East Division poll was Pfeiffer University, led by head coach Tooey Loy. The Falcons, in their first season reclassifying from Division II to Division III last year, earned a 20-5 overall record but were not eligible for Conference or NCAA post-season play due to their provisional Division III status. Pfeiffer did earn a bid to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament and fell in the first round. Pfeiffer received 60 total points in the preseason poll and grabbed five first place votes. Placing second in the poll with 57 points and two first place votes was defending East Division co-champion Greensboro College. In third with 54 points and the final two first place votes was Averett University. N.C. Wesleyan grabbed 41 points to earn fourth and round-out the top-four of the poll.
Placing first in the USA South West Division poll was Berea College, led by head coach Trent Milby. The Mountaineers finished last winter with a 23-4 overall record and captured last year's West Division title with a 12-2 league mark. Berea reached the finals of the USA South Tournament before falling short. The Mountaineers received 62 total points and six first place votes. Placing second in the poll with 57 points and the remaining three first place votes was two-time defending USA South Tournament champion Piedmont College. In third with 47 points was Maryville College while Huntingdon College placed fourth with 41 points to round out the top-four of the poll.
The USA South welcomed Brevard College and Pfeiffer last season as institutions reclassifying from NCAA Division II status. This year each of their teams are included in the preseason poll and eligible for regular season championship honors. Both Brevard and Pfeiffer still will not be eligible to qualify for the USA South Tournament and/or the NCAA Tournament until full NCAA Division III membership is established.
The women's basketball regular season gets underway on Thursday, November 8th as Wesleyan takes on Berry in non-Conference action.
The 2019 USA South Women's Basketball Tournament will once again be conducted exclusively on campus sites. The top-six seeded teams from each division will advance to the tournament.