ELMHURST, Ill.(NDSU Sp Information)--The North Dakota State women's basketball team was tabbed eighth in The Summit League preseason poll released Tuesday, Oct. 15 by the league office. The Bison received 74 points in the poll. NDSU returns nine student-athletes from last season's team, including one starter in sophomore forward Marena Whittle. She started 26-of-29 games in 2012-13, averaging 6.7 points and 7.1 rebounds. South Dakota State was picked to win the league after claiming its record fifth-consecutive Summit League tournament title and fourth regular season title in six years. The Jackrabbits collected 27-of-30 first-place votes and 319 points in the voting conducted by the league's head coaches, SIDs and media. IUPUI was picked to finish runner-up in the poll, collecting three first-place votes and 276 points, after finishing second in the regular season a year ago. South Dakota was third with 224 points followed by Fort Wayne in fourth with 179. League newcomer Denver, Western Illinois, Omaha and the Bison rounded out the poll. Fort Wayne's Amanda Hyde was voted as the league's preseason Player of the Year after garnering Player of the Year and first team All-Summit League honors last season. Accompanying Hyde on the first team are IUPUI's DeAirra Goss, 2013 Newcomer of the Year Western Illinois' Ashley Luke, last season's Tournament MVP South Dakota's Nicole Seekamp, Denver's Morgan Van Riper-Rose and South Dakota State's Megan Waytashek. The second team is composed of reigning Defensive Player of the Year in IUPUI's Dee-Dee Bellamy, South Dakota's Polly Harrington, Omaha's Ericka House, South Dakota State's Steph Paluch and Fort Wayne's Haley Seibert. NDSU opens the 2013-14 season Oct. 30 at home with an exhibition game against Minnesota-Crookston. Tip-off from the Bison Sports Arena is set for 5 p.m. 2013-14 Summit League Women's Basketball Preseason Poll PlaceTeamPoints (1st) 1.South Dakota State319 (27) 2.IUPUI276 (3) 3.South Dakota 224 4.Fort Wayne179 5.Denver169 6.Western Illinois 146 7.Omaha77 8.North Dakota State74 First Team School Pos.Yr. DeAirra Gross IUPUI G Sr. Amanda Hyde Fort Wayne G/F Sr. Ashley Luke Western Illinois F So. Nicole SeekampSouth Dakota G Jr. Morgan Van Riper-RoseDenver G Jr. Megan WaytashekSouth Dakota State G/F Jr. Second Team School Pos.Yr. Dee-Dee Bellamy IUPUI G Sr. Polly Harrington South Dakota F Sr. Ericka House Omaha G Sr. Steph Paluch South Dakota State G Sr. Haley Seibert Fort Wayne F Jr. Preseason Player of the Year: Amanda Hyde, Fort Wayne
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