MELBOURNE, Fla.– Sunshine State Conference women's basketball coaches selected Nova Southeastern University to win its third consecutive regular season championship. The Sharks received 57 total votes and two of nine first place votes. NSU won the SSC 2015-16 regular season by posting a 13-3 conference record for the second straight year.
After losing six letterwinners, the University of Tampa returns two starters to its roster, Elena de Alfredo and Karma Jeremie. de Alfredo was one of two players that started all 33 games last season. As the top-returning scorer, de Alfredo tallied an average of 11.7 points-per-game and 387 points last season. Along with five returning letterwinners, UT added six transfers and three freshmen to its roster.
Three votes separate Nova Southeastern with Florida Southern College. The Moccasin's received 51 votes and four first place votes. Florida Tech sits third in the poll with 51 votes and two first place votes. The University of Tampa, last year's SSC championship tournament winner, received the final first place vote and 49 total votes.
During the 2015-16 season, Nova Southeastern (24-7, 13-3), Florida Southern (27-6, 12-4), Florida Tech (20-10, 12-4), and Tampa (20-13, 9-7) gained entry into the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship Tournament. Florida Southern defeated Kentucky State (61-50), Tampa (69-59), and Benedict (64-56) to win the regional.
FSC fell in the national quarterfinals to eventual national champion, Lubbock Christian (73-69). It marks the fifth consecutive year a SSC women's program has made the elite eight* and the second straight loss to the eventual national champion**.
The Division II Bulletin Preseason Top-25 poll has Nova Southeastern ranked No. 22 and Florida Southern as No. 7. In addition, Nova Southeastern's Kayla Wright was named a Division II Bulletin Super 16 selection. Wright was the SSC 2015-16 Player of the Year.
2016 - 17 SSC WOMENS BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
Nova Southeastern (2)
Florida Southern (4)
Florida Tech (2)
* Rollins (2012), Nova Southeastern (2013), Nova Southeastern (2014), Nova Southeastern (2015), Florida Southern (2016).
** NSU fell in the 2015 national quarterfinals to eventual national champion, California (Pa.), 69-64.