— WCC Basketball (@WCChoops) October 18, 2017
Oct. 18, 2017
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Maya Hood was named to All-WCC Preseason Women's Basketball team, the conference announced Wednesday morning at the WCC Hoops Tip-Off event in Las Vegas. The Toreros were picked to finish fourth in the WCC preseason poll. Both the preseason team and poll were voted on solely by the conference's 10 coaches.
Maya Hood, a graduate student, will be entering her sixth season with the Toreros. Through nine games last year she was averaging 18.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and shooting 57.5 percent from the field. Hood enters the season in the top ten all-time in multiple categories including first in career offensive rebounds (356) and seventh in career points (1,301).
Gonzaga (26-7, 14-4) claimed 79 points to finish atop the preseason poll after claiming the double in 2017 with a WCC regular season and championship crown.
Saint Mary's (20-13, 13-5) received the other two first place votes and was the preseason pick to finish second in the conference with 72 points. The Gaels were followed by BYU (20-12, 13-5) in third with 68 points.
Behind the Toreros (54 points) was Loyola Marymount (14-16, 9-9), with 48 points. The Lions welcome a heralded transfer for the second consecutive season with junior Gabby Green eligible to compete following two years as a starter for California.
Three points separated the sixth and seventh spots on the poll between a pair of teams with head coaches entering their second seasons with their respective programs. Santa Clara (14-16, 9-9) was selected sixth with 39 points while San Francisco (18-13, 11-7) was picked seventh with 36 points. Pacific claimed eighth overall with 28 points after going 10-21 (5-13) last season.
Pepperdine and Portland round out the preseason poll with the Waves, under first-year head coach DeLisha Milton-Jones, collecting 14 points for ninth and the Pilots. The Waves went 7-23 (5-13 WCC) last season, and the Pilots quadrupled their conference record from the previous season with a 6-24 (4-14) WCC) mark.
Head Coach Cindy Fisher (13th season) and her staff are excited about the depth and athleticism of this year's squad. In addition to Hood, the Toreros return three players who made at least 20 starts a season ago.
Senior guard Aubrey Ward-El had a breakout season last year, her first as a starter, averaging 11 points per game while shooting 86.7 percent from the free-throw line. She is joined in the starting lineup by senior Sydney Williams (9.7 ppg & 4.3 rpg) and Caroline Buhr (7.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg).
The coaching staff has been very impressed with their four newcomers as well, which includes three freshmen and a transfer. Freshmen Myah Pace (5-11, Oakland Calif.) and Sydney Hunter (6-0, Keizer, Ore.) will give the Toreros versatility on the perimeter. Freshman Kendall Bird (6-2, Buckley, Wash) and sophomore Kat Olczak (6-7, Zielona Gora, Poland), a transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, will provide depth and toughness in the Toreros' frontcourt.
The Toreros will play one of the toughest non-conference schedules ever under Coach Fisher, highlighted by games against San Diego State, California and Minnesota in addition to matchups against Boise State and Hawai'i in Honolulu. The Toreros' schedule features ten games against teams who appeared in either the 2017 NCAA or WNIT postseason tournament.
The Toreros' 2017-18 season opener will have a unique twist as they will host San Diego Christian November 10th in the Sports Center, the facility USD called home up until the 2000-01 season when the Jenny Craig Pavilion opened.
2017-18 WEST COAST CONFERENCE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
Team (First Place Vote) Pts.
1. Gonzaga (8) 79
2. Saint Mary's (2) 72
3. BYU 68
4. SAN DIEGO 54
5. Loyola Marymount 48
6. Santa Clara 39
7. San Francisco 36
8. Pacific 28
9. Pepperdine 14
10. Portland 12
2017-18 ALL-WCC PRESEASON WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM
Name Institution Yr. Pos.
Jill Barta Gonzaga R-Jr. F
Stella Beck Saint Mary's Sr. G
Cassie Broadhead BYU Sr. G
Maya Hood San Diego R-Sr. F
GeAnna Luaulu-Summers Pacific Sr. G
Sydney Raggio Saint Mary's Jr. F
Yasmine Robinson-Bacote Pepperdine Jr. F
Anna Seilund San Francisco Sr. G
Laura Stockton Gonzaga Jr. G
Cheyanne Wallace Loyola Marymount Jr. G/F
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