Concordia’s veteran squad vaulted to third in GPAC preseason poll

By Chase Benton on Oct. 19, 2023 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – Higher expectations from last season are set upon the Concordia University Women’s Basketball team, as the conference released the 2023-24 GPAC Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll on Thursday (Oct. 19). The league’s coaches ballot vaulted the Bulldogs to third place, from last year’s fifth, with a total of 99 points that included one first place vote in the poll. The conference’s top four, according to the poll, heading into the season are Dordt, Briar Cliff, Concordia and Jamestown.

Seasoned Head Coach Drew Olson dives into his 18th season as the front man of the Bulldogs. The program returns a wealth of veterans, starting with three time First Team All-GPAC honoree Taysha Rushton, a two-time NAIA Honorable Mention All-American. Second Team All-GPAC picks Abby Krieser and Sadie Powell come back to the hardwood for their junior and senior seasons, respectively. Guards Kendal Brigham and Mackenzie Toomey garnered All-GPAC Honorable Mention in their 2022-23 campaigns.

Under Coach Olson, the women’s basketball program has had a ton of success including one national championship, two runners up, five national tournament semifinal advancements and 12 combined GPAC championships. Concordia looks to return to the final site of the national tournament, where it most recently appeared in 2021 (national quarterfinalist). The program finished last season at 20-12 overall and 14-8 in the GPAC, placing tied for fifth with Northwestern. Its national tournament run ended in the round of 32 against Thomas More University (Ky.).

The Bulldogs will start the 2023-24 season at the 24th annual Cattle Classic in Friedrich Arena on Nov. 3-4. The teams set to match against Concordia are Sterling College (Kan.) and Marian University (Ind.).

2023-24 GPAC Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
--First-place votes in parentheses

1.       Dordt – 121 (11)
2.       Briar Cliff – 105
3.       Concordia – 99 (1)
4.       Jamestown – 84
5.       Northwestern – 81
6.       Dakota Wesleyan – 69
7.       Morningside – 68
8.       Doane – 61
9.       Hastings – 40
10.   Mount Marty – 30
11.   Midland – 19
12.   College of Saint Mary – 15