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Women’s College Basketball: UNI picked third in MVC Preseason Poll

ST. LOUIS, Missouri – The UNI Panthers women’s basketball team has been picked third is the 2021-2022 preseason Missouri Valley Conference poll released on Tuesday morning.

Following a historic run to the semifinals of the WNIT postseason tournament in the 2020-2021 season, the Panthers have been tabbed to finish 3rd in the conference, receiving 298 points along with three 1st-place votes from league coaches, sports information directors, and media members. Senior guard Karli Rucker has also been selected as a member of the preseason all-conference team.

Missouri State was selected as the favorites to repeat as conference champions with 35 first place votes and 362 points. Drake received the last couple of first place votes to round out the projected top 3 teams with 316 points from the annual survey. The top 5 in projected conference teams is completed with Illinois State (268 points) and Bradley (209 points). Lady Bears guard Brice Calip has been tabbed as the MVC Preseason Player of the Year. The preseason team is rounded out with Lady Bears forward Jasmine Franklin, Bulldogs forward Grace Berg, and Braves guard Gabi Haack.

The Panthers return all but one of their starters for the 2021-2022 season along with returning 13 letterwinners after a 17-13 season. With a deep roster, UNI has several standout players including Rucker, a preseason all-conference selection and a 3-time all-MVC honoree, freshman guard Emerson Green, an MVC all-freshman honoree, junior guard Kam Finley, a WNIT all-tournament honoree and Rockford Regional MVP, and freshman guard Maya McDermott, an MVC all-freshman honoree. The Panthers are led by Head Coach Tanya Warren in her 15th season at the helm with a 260-190 record.

This is the 9th year in a row that the Panthers have been selected at 3rd or better in the conference preseason poll. UNI begins their season on November 2nd with a home exhibition game against Division II Truman State.

2021-22 MVC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1.) Missouri State (362)
2.) Drake (316)
3.) Northern Iowa (298)
4.) Illinois State (268)
5.) Bradley (209)
6.) Valparaiso (208)
7.) Loyola (193)
8.) Southern Illinois (161)
9.) Indiana State (102)
10.) Evansville (83)

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