Women's Basketball Picked Second in NE-10 Northeast Preseason Poll

Brown (right) returns an experienced backcourt with Martin (middle), a two-time All-NE-10 selection, and Walsh. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Skyhawks open season at Post Friday night

EASTON, Mass. (November 10, 2016) – The Stonehill College women's basketball team has been picked second in the Northeast Division according to the Northeast-10 Conference's preseason coaches' poll announced today. The Skyhawks are also among teams receiving votes in the D2SIDA East Regional media poll released this week.

Stonehill is tied for second with 2016 NCAA Tournament participant Saint Anselm College in the Northeast Division preseason poll with 79 points, although the Hawks collected one first place vote, behind preseason divisional favorites Bentley University (105 points), which received 14 first place votes and has been tabbed the preseason No. 1 team in the country by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and D2SIDA. Assumption College (72 points) is picked fourth in the Northeast Division, while Southern New Hampshire University (59) rounds out the top five.

American International College (75 points) is the preseason favorite in the NE-10's Southwest Division with seven first place votes, followed by Adelphi University (66) with three first place votes, and the University of New Haven (50) third with two first place votes. Just four points separate New Haven and The College of Saint Rose (46), who received two first place votes, in sixth in the preseason Southwest Division poll. Le Moyne College (47) and Southern Connecticut State University (47), which received the remaining first place vote, are tied for fourth in the poll.

Stonehill head coach Trisha Brown, in her 16th season at the helm, returns ten letterwinners and three starters from last season which finished with a 15-14 record overall, including 9-12 in the NE-10, reaching the quarterfinals of the Northeast-10 Tournament before falling to Bentley, an eventual national semifinalist, 54-50. Senior captain Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate), a two-time All-Northeast-10 selection, headlines the Skyhawks returnees after averaging 15.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.7 minutes per game as a junior. She enters her senior year just 63 points shy of becoming the program's 30th 1,000-point scorer, having totaled 937 points, 353 rebounds and 284 assists in 74 career games played.

Hyslip, the 2015 NE-10 Rookie of the Year, aims to have a big year inside for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Barry Gutradt)

Juniors Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford), the 2015 NE-10 Rookie of the Year, and Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic), as well as sophomore Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) will provide experience for Stonehill this season. Hyslip started 22 games for the Skyhawks last winter and averaged 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds, while Walsh contributed 6.5 points, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 30.4 minutes per game over 29 starts for the Skyhawks. Diabate aims to back up a solid freshman season in which she posted 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game with two starts.

Sophomore Nicole Rojas (Cromwell, Connecticut/Cromwell) is expected to join the aforementioned four in the starting lineup for Stonehill, while juniors Kate Ross (Providence, Rhode Island/The Lincoln School), Elizabeth Grip (Shrewsbury, Massachusetts/Shrewsbury) and Stacy Madelmayer (Garden City, New York/Kellenberg Memorial) and sophomore Tayler Wornum (Randolph, Massachusetts/Archbishop Williams) are all expected to be a part of Brown's rotation off the bench.

Newcomers who look to earn minutes for Stonehill are freshmen Kelsey Shaw (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island), Gabrielle Reuter (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy), Morgan O'Brien (Clifton Park, New York/Shenendehowa) and Grace Carter (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington).

Stonehill tips off its 2016-17 season tomorrow night at Post University, in Waterbury, Connecticut, at 6 p.m. The Skyhawks open their home and NE-10 schedule next Wednesday, November 16, against Assumption College at 5:30 p.m. Stonehill's first semester schedule includes just four home games out of the first 11 contests.

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