SEWARD, Neb. – For the 27th-straight national poll, Concordia women’s basketball finds itself ranked among the top 25 teams in NAIA Division II. The Bulldogs checked in at No. 5 in the 2013-14 coaches’ preseason poll, released on Tuesday afternoon by the NAIA.
Head coach Drew Olson’s program is no stranger to lofty national rankings having appeared in the top 10 of each of the last 26 polls. Concordia held the No. 1 ranking in the first four coaches’ polls of the 2012-13 season before ultimately finishing at No. 9. Last season’s run at the top of the rankings marked the Bulldogs’ first appearance at No. 1 since the 2002-03 season when Concordia reigned first for the final nine polls entering the national tournament.
The program’s highest final ranking under Olson came following the 2011-12 GPAC championship campaign when Concordia was placed at No. 3. The Bulldogs reached the national semifinals in Sioux City, Iowa, that March.
Led by senior Kristen Conahan, Concordia will face significant challenges early this season with games against No. 17 Grand View University (Nov. 2), No. 23 College of Saint Mary (Nov. 5), No. 10 University of Jamestown (Nov. 8), No. 3 Morningside (Nov. 16) and No. 12 Briar Cliff (Nov. 23) all on the docket for November.
Concordia is scheduled to play a total of 10 games against teams ranked in the preseason poll. Bethel University (Tenn.), Concordia’s opponent on Dec. 30 in San Antonio, Texas, garnered a No. 16 ranking the NAIA Division I preseason rankings.