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UWS women tabbed to win fourth-straight UMAC title

University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Hannah Norlin (42) shoots over Minnesota Duluth’s Sarah Grow (42) in the first quarter of the exhibition game Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Romano Gym in Duluth. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

The University of Wisconsin-Superior women’s basketball team has been picked to win its fourth-straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference title, according to the annual coaches’ poll.

Heading into its fourth season in the UMAC, the Yellowjackets have a 48-game regular-season winning streak. Including postseason games, UWS has won 54-straight against UMAC teams.

While the Yellowjackets were picked by the UMAC coaches, they were not a unanimous pick. The Yellowjackets topped the poll with 61 points and six first-place votes. Bethany Lutheran followed the Yellowjackets by just three total points and picked up two first-place votes.

The Yellowjackets won 14-of-16 games by 10 points or more in conference play last season. They also averaged a 24.8 points-per-game scoring margin in UMAC games, which was nearly 13 ppg more than Bethany Lutheran. They also scored 74.3 ppg and allowed on average less than 50 ppg.

If the Yellowjackets want to sustain their success, though, they'll have to do it without three-time UMAC Player of the Year Hailey Kontny.

Looking to fill that void will be Hanna Norlin, Eva Reinertsen and Emily Carpenter.

Norlin (Litchfield, Minn.) is an All-UMAC First-Team performer who ranked in the top 10 in scoring (13.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg) last winter.

Reinertsen (Duluth), the UMAC Rookie of the Year in 2017, scored 187 points with 92 rebounds, while Carpenter (St. Peter, Minn.) finished with 109 points, 50 assists and a 3-point field goal percentage of .350.

The Vikings lost the conference title game to the Yellowjackets by 12 points and they reload with a ton of talent that could help them dethrone the 'Jackets this season.

Haley Sandin enters her fourth season leading the Vikings after tallying 18.4 ppg to lead the conference a year ago. She is joined by last season's rookie of the year Abby Olson and fellow sophomore Hannah Geistfeld, who each averaged in double figures a year ago.

The College of St. Scholastica was selected fifth in the poll with 36 points. All-UMAC second-team pick Michaela Walther will look to lead the Saints to a second-straight UMAC postseason berth.

UWS opened its season with an exhibition game at Minnesota Duluth on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The ’Jackets will play another exhibition game at Concordia-St. Paul (Tuesday, Nov. 13) before playing in the St. Norbert College tournament Nov. 16-17.

The Yellowjackets open at home Nov. 28 against St. Benedict, a team that beat UWS last season.

UWS will also host a winter tournament just before New Year's, bringing in UW-Stout, Concordia-Moorhead and St. Scholastica for the UWS Classic.

’JACKET JOTTINGS: Zach Otto-Fisher enters his second season as UWS head coach. … UWS sported records of 23-5 overall and 16-0 UMAC last season. … The Yellowjackets have won four consecutive regular season conference championships – UMAC (2016, 2017, 2018) and WIAC (2015). … Last year’s playoff run included wins over Northwestern (65-54) and Bethany (66-54) and a loss to UW-Whitewater (81-46) in the first-round of the NCAA tournament.

2018-19 UMAC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

  1. UW-Superior (6) 61
  2. Bethany Lutheran (2) 58
  3. Minnesota Morris 48
  4. Northwestern (1) 47
  5. St. Scholastica 36
  6. Martin Luther 25
  7. Crown 19
  8. North Central 16
  9. Northland 14

UW-Superior Yellowjackets

2018-19 Women’s Basketball Schedule

Wed., Nov. 7 at UMD (exh - L, 73-47)

Tue., Nov. 13 at Concordia-St. Paul (exh), 7 p.m.

St. Norbert Classic

Fri., Nov. 16 vs. Carthage College, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Nov.  17 vs. TBD

Mon., Nov. 19 at Augsburg, 7 p.m.

Mon., Nov. 26 at Bemidji State, 6 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 28 vs. St. Ben’s, 5 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 1 vs. UW-Eau Claire, 5 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 5 at St. Scholastica, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 8 at Minn. Morris, 3 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 12 vs. Northland, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 15 at Martin Luther, 3 p.m.

Superior Shootout Holiday Classic

Sat., Dec. 29 St. Scholastica vs UW-Stout, 1 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 29 Con.-Moorhead at UWS, 3 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 30 St. Scholastica vs Concordia, 1 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 30 UW-Stout at UWS, 3 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 2 vs. Crown, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 5 at Bethany Lutheran, 3 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 9 vs. Northwestern, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 12 vs. North Central, 3 p.m.

Mon., Jan. 14 vs. Finlandia, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 19 at Minn. Morris, 3 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 23 at Northland, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 26 vs. Martin Luther, 3 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 30 vs. St. Scholastica, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 2 at Crown, 3 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 6 at Northwestern, 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 9 vs. Bethany Luth., 3 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 16 at North Central, 3 p.m.

UW-Superior Yellowjackets

2018-19 Women’s Basketball Roster

Head Coach: Zach Otto-Fisher

00 Natalia Verdejo Fr. G Spain

1  Kaly Kostrova So. G Rhinelander

2  Sydney Franks So. G Plymouth, Minn.

3  Bailey Folkers Fr. G Crookston, Minn.

4  Mackenzie Kmecik Jr. G Superior

5  Marissa Ruiz Jr. G Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

10 Taylor Kane Sr. F Grand Rapids, Minn.

12 Morgan Anderson So. F Savage, Minn.

13 Maddie Larson Fr. F Stanchfield, Minn.

14 Emily Carpenter Jr. G St. Peter, Minn.

20 Ellie Leadstrom So. G Superior

21 Katie White Sr. G Pequot Lake, Minn.

23 Eva Reinertsen Jr. F Duluth

25 Mikayla Koivisto Fr. G Floodwood, Minn.

30 Brianna  McGrath So. G Two Harbors

32 Lindsey Jalivay So. G Eagan, Minn.

42 Hannah Norlin Sr. F Litchfield, Minn.

44 Linnea Bollum Fr. F Apple Valley, Minn.

55 Tymber  King So. C Grantsburg

Assistant Coaches: Harold Mulhern, Hadley Mooney, Pat Flynn, Caitie Johnson.

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