BALTIMORE—The UMBC women's basketball team is ranked 21st in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 preseason poll, which was released Tuesday evening.
The Retrievers, who were selected as the America East preseason favorites last month, received 150 points to crack the top 25 for the first time. Under the guidance of America East Coach of the Year Phil Stern, UMBC consistently received votes in the poll over the final six weeks of the 2010-11 campaign and was ranked 27th in the final poll of the season after posting a 20-12 overall record, winning the America East regular-season title and earning a berth in the WNIT.
Green Bay, which posted a 34-2 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, is the top-ranked team in the poll after finishing in the same spot last season. Two of UMBC's 2011-12 opponents – Princeton (No. 4) and Hampton (No. 11) – ranked in the top 25, while Navy, Hartford, Boston University and Loyola all received votes.
The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial Athletic Association, Great West, Horizon League, Independents, Ivy League, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt and West Coast.
In addition, senior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) was tabbed a fourth-team preseason Mid-Major All-American and the America East preseason Player of the Year by CollegeSportsMadness.com, while senior forward Erin Brown (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) was selected to the America East preseason all-conference first team by the same website.
The only America East player to be listed among the four All-America teams, Kurowski enters the season as the league's active career scoring leader with 1,263 points. She earned first-team all-conference honors last season after ranging second in the league with 14.6 points per game. Brown was also a first-team all-conference selection in 2011 after averaging 14.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest.
The Retrievers' season tips off on Friday, Nov. 11, when they host cross-town rival Morgan state at 5 p.m. at the RAC Arena.