BOSTON – In the first season of GNAC subdivisions, the Suffolk women's basketball team was tabbed third in the South Division per a vote of the league's 12 head coaches the conference announced Monday afternoon.
In the new adopted divisional format opponents from each division will play home-and home format, while playing each team in the opposing division once for a 16-league ledger.
Based on overcall conference record, the top four seeds from each division will get a chance to vie for the GNAC Title, as field of eight will continue in the conference championship. Quarterfinal competition will feature crossover match ups between the two divisions with each top seed hosting the opposite divisions fourth seed and the No. 2 seeds hosting the other divisions No. 3 seeds. If the two teams that advance to the GNAC Championship own the same seed, the winner of the regular-season head-to-head matchup will determine the championship host.
Suffolk collected 43 points in the South Division, which features Johnson & Wales, Emmanuel, Albertus Magnus, Mount Ida and Saint Joseph (Conn.). The Wildcats were picked as the division's favorite thanks to eight first-place votes for 67 points. The Rams Fenway neighbor Emmanuel, meanwhile, received four first place nods to take second with 64 points. The Falcons (42), Mustangs (20) and Blue Jays (16) round out the South Division.
In the North, St. Joseph's (Maine) was chosen to finish first with 70 points on 10 first-place votes. with Norwich (60), who grabbed two first-place nods and Rivier (40) rounding out the top three.
The Rams bring back a core group of veterans including three from the starting line-up - seniors Alexandra Clarke and Kelsey Schiebel and junior Alexandra Nagri - that pushed Suffolk to its 22nd consecutive GNAC Tournament appearance a year ago thanks to a 17-11 overall record and 8-3 record against conference competition. Senior Georgia Bourikas and junior Caitlyn Caramello will looked continue to contribute, while senior Gena Restiano returns to the hardwood for the blue and gold coming off a year-long injury. Seven rookies also join Suffolk's ranks for Ed Leyden's 23rd season at the helm.
Suffolk is on the eve of its 2016-17 season, which gets underway Tuesday, Nov. 15 at UMass Boston at 7 p.m.
|2016-17 GNAC WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL|
1. St. Jopseh's (Maine)
5. Anna Maria
1. Johnson & Wales
4. Albertus Magnus
5. Mount Ida
6. St. Joseph (Conn.)