For the third time in four years, the Dayton Flyers were picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Conference women’s basketball preseason poll.
Dayton, the defending regular-season champion, received two of 14 first-place votes from the conference’s coaches. Duquesne, which finished second last season, received the other 12 votes and was picked to win the conference championship.
Dayton finished 23-7 last season and 15-1 in the A-10, earning a NCAA tournament berth for the eighth time in nine seasons. Despite the loss of three senior starters, the Flyers expect to stay on top of the conference and return to the big dance.
“I don’t think there’s really any pressure,” senior guard Lauren Cannatelli said. “We’re a different group of girls than we were last year. We’re just going to keep playing how we play.”
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Dayton’s two returning starters earned A-10 preseason honors. Junior guard Jayla Scaife, the team’s leading returning scorer (14.5 points per game), made the A-10 first team and the all-defensive team. Cannatelli (13.3 points per game) made the second team.
The other A-10 first-team selections were: Duquesne’s Chassidy Omogrosso and Julijana Vojinovic; Fordham’s Bre Cavanaugh; and George Mason’s Nicole Cardaño-Hillary.
Dayton has won or shared the regular-season title in coach Shauna Green’s first two seasons.
“We always have a target on our backs,” Scaife said. “We’re expected to be the best. It helps us to be motivated every day and to work hard.”
Following Dayton in the poll were: T-3. Fordham, George Washington; 5. St. Joseph’s; 6. Virginia Commonwealth; 7. Saint Louis; 8. George Mason; 9. Massachusetts; 10. Richmond; 11. Davidson; 12. St. Bonaventure; 13. Rhode Island; and 14. La Salle.
Fans can see the Flyers in action for the first time at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in an exhibition game against Indianapolis at UD Arena. They open the regular season at 11 a.m. Nov. 9 against Colgate.
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