Thunder Picked to finish Third in MIAA

Thunder Picked to finish Third in MIAA

FREELAND, Mich.-- The Trine women's basketball team was picked to finish third in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association in the conference preseason poll, released Friday.

The Thunder received votes totaling 42 points in the poll. The poll was selected by the MIAA coaches, who could not vote for their own team. Trine finished last season 15-10 overall, a nine-win improvement from the previous season and one of the best single-season improvements in team history. The Thunder tied for fourth in the MIAA with a 9-7 mark in league action in head coach Ryan Gould's first season at the helm of the program.

Trine's lone returning starter is All-MIAA Second Team performer Whitney Shaffer (Tipton, Ind./Tri-Central). Last season, Shaffer was one the nation's premier threats from long-distance as she shot 41.5 percent from three-point range. That mark ranked 22nd in the nation. She led the team in scoring, averaging 11.6 points per contest.

Alivia Recker (Arlington, Ohio/Arlington) joins Shaffer to form the Thunder senior class. Recker transitioned to forward last season after spending time at guard early in her career and provided the Thunder with a solid presence off the bench. Recker has averaged 6.6 points per game in her career.

Ashley Elliott (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg) and Taylor Cole (Mount Pleasant, Mich./Shepherd) bring returning experience to the backcourt. Elliott showed promise in her freshman campaign, scoring in double-figures seven times. Cole gives the Thunder a tenacious defender on the perimeter. She averaged 1.7 steals per game last year.

This year's team features 10 newcomers to the varsity roster and 15 newcomers to the program overall. Expect newcomers to play a significant role for the Thunder this season both in the starting lineup and off the bench.

Trine will take on IPFW in an exhibition contest next Friday, Nov. 13 at 11:30 a.m. The season officially tips off two days later on Sunday, Nov. 15 as the Thunder host Franklin at 2 p.m. Conference play opens with a road date at Hope Dec. 2. CLICK HERE for complete schedule.

The complete results of the MIAA Preseason Poll are listed below.

  Team Points (First-Place Votes)
1.   Calvin 63 (7)
2. Hope 58 (2)
3. Trine 42
4. Albion 38
5. Kalamazoo  37
6. Olivet 31
7. Adrian 30
8. Alma 16
9. Saint Mary's   9