RedStorm women jump 6 spots in NAIA coaches’ poll


By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing



KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Rio Grande jumped six spots to No. 18 in the first NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 poll of the 2018-19 regular season.

The ranking were announced by the national office Tuesday night.

The RedStorm received 129 points in the balloting of a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.

Head coach David Smalley’s club, which sports a 7-1 record after last Saturday’s win over Washington Adventist as part of the NAIA DII Show in Kingsport, Tenn., returns to action Wednesday night in its River States Conference season opener at Indiana University East.

Concordia (Neb.), which is off to a 9-0 start, remains the No. 1 team in the poll after garnering all 12 first-place votes and 312 total points.

The top three teams are all undefeated.

Defending national champion Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) is 9-0, and No. 3 Southeastern (Fla.) is 6-0. Dakota Wesleyan had 302 points and Southeastern tallied 291.

College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and Northwestern (Iowa) moved into the top 5 at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. The two were ranked No. 6 and No. 8, respectively, in the preseason

Newcomers to the poll include No. 13 Sterling (Kan.), No. 15 Dordt (Iowa), No. 23 Michigan-Dearborn, No. 24 Huntington (Ind.), and, tied at 25, Midland (Neb.) and Milligan (Tenn.).

Lawrence Tech (Mich.), Saint Francis (Ind.), Valley City State (N.D.) and Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) all fell from the list.

No other River States Conference school was mentioned in the balloting.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.