Bethany Lutheran is the unanimous pick to win the UMAC women’s basketball title according to the preseason conference coaches’ poll released Tuesday.
Bethany Lutheran received 64 points and eight first-place votes and was followed by Minnesota-Morris (50 points), Wisconsin-Superior (49), Northwestern (44), North Central (42), St. Scholastica (30), Northland (18), Martin Luther (15) and Crown (12).
Wisconsin-Superior had its string of four straight regular-season conference championships snapped by Bethany Lutheran last year. UWS still had a strong season, finishing 18-9 overall, 13-3 in UMAC play and advancing to the conference title game for the fifth-straight season. The Yellowjackets graduated a strong core of seniors and will rely on Ellie Leadstrom, a senior from Superior who averaged 6.4 points per game last season, to lead a young team.
St. Scholastica missed the UMAC postseason last winter and will look to rebound behind senior Morgan Anderson, who is back after averaging 7.3 points per game.
UWS opens the season at 7 p.m. Wednesday at home against Northland in a nonconference game while CSS opens at 3 p.m. Saturday at Minnesota-Morris in a UMAC contest.
Saints have to wait another day
The St. Scholastica men’s basketball team was scheduled to open Tuesday night at Northland College before the event was postponed one day due to COVID-19 protocols. It is the second time the contest, originally scheduled for last Saturday, has been postponed. The teams will now play at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Ashland.
St. Scholastica announced Tuesday it will limit spectators for basketball and hockey contests to only family members of CSS athletes, coaches and staff with two immediate family members (or four immediate family members for split families) per individual. UWS previously announced no spectators will be allowed for the winter sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.