EDISON, NJ - The Iona College women's basketball team secured the second spot in the 2013 MAAC Preseason Coaches Poll, as announced by the league today. Reigning champion Marist College was the unanimous choice at the preseason favorite.
Marist finished first with all 11 first place votes and 121 points, followed by the Gaels with 106 points. Conference newcomer Quinnipiac was third with 102 points. Fairfield followed in fourth place with 86 points, while Rider rounded out the top five with 69 points. Canisius received 54 points to finish sixth, trailed by Siena in seventh with 51 points. Niagara received 47 points in eighth, followed by MAAC newcomer Monmouth with 43 points in ninth. Manhattan received 34 points to finish tenth, while Saint Peter's was eleventh with 13 points to round out the poll.
Under the direction of first year head coach Billi Godsey, Iona returns all five starters from last season, a campaign that saw the Gaels reach the MAAC Championship game and qualify for the 2013 Women's NIT. The 2012-13 Pepsi Max MAAC Player of the Year Damika Martinez and 2012-13 MAAC Rookie of the Year Joy Adams anchor the lineup along with graduate student Haley D'Angelo, senior Sabrina Jeridore and junior Aleesha Powell. Martinez led the league in scoring for the second straight season with 598 points, over 100 points more than the runnerup, and knocked down an Iona single-season record 79 three-point field goals.
In her first season with the Gaels, Adams led the league in rebounding, averaging 10.7 per contest, and field goal percentage. Jeridore led the league in blocked shots with an Iona record 102 "swats", averaging 3.1 block per game. Jeridore posted five or more blocks in seven games a season ago.
Powell was the team's third leading scorer a season ago, averaging 9.8 points per contest. She reached double digit scoring in 18 games a season ago, including the team's final seven games. Defensively, she led the team with 58 steals. D’Angelo, the team's floor general, led the league in assist to turnover ratio and ranked in the top five in assists.
The season begins for the Gaels on Nov. 8 when they host Arizona, Michigan and Bowling Green at the 2013 Iona Tip-Off Tournament. Michigan and Bowling Green will tip off in the day's first game at 4:00 pm followed by the Gaels and the Wildcats at 6:30 pm.
2013-14 MAAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll