Toledo women’s basketball picked to capture MAC West Division again

November 7, 2012 | News, UToday
By Brian DeBenedictis

Toledo is truly the media darling of the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets have been tabbed as the favorite to win the 2012-13 MAC West Division for a fourth consecutive season, according to a vote of members of the league’s media contingent as well as the conference’s 12 head women’s basketball coaches.

Additionally, senior Naama Shafir, senior Yolanda Richardson and junior Andola Dortch were selected to the Preseason All-MAC West Division squad. Shafir becomes the first player in league history to earn preseason honors for a fourth consecutive year, while Richardson and Dortch are first-time recipients.

Joining Shafir, Richardson and Dortch on the West Division squad were Central Michigan’s Crystal Bradford and Eastern Michigan’s Natachia Watkins.

Since the MAC switched to divisional play for the 1997-98 season, UT has been picked to capture the West Division crown eight times. Tabbed to finish second in the West is Central Michigan, followed by Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Ball State.

UT also received 16 votes to win the postseason tournament, while CMU captured 12 votes and Bowling Green had two tallies. The winner of the MAC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Toledo welcomes back 11 letterwinners, including four starters, from last year’s squad that finished with a 24-10 overall record. The midnight blue and gold captured a share of a third consecutive MAC West Division crown with a 13-3 league ledger. In total, the Rockets welcome back 69.8 percent of their scoring, 75.5 percent of their rebounding, 71.1 percent of their assists, 87.6 percent of their blocked shots and 69.8 percent of their steals. With a number of key components returning, Toledo seeks a return to the “Big Dance” for the first time since 2001.

Miami was picked to win the East Division, followed by BGSU, Akron, Ohio, Kent State and Buffalo.

The East Division squad is comprised of Akron’s Rachael Tecca, Bowling Green’s Alexis Rogers and Chrissy Steffen, and Miami’s Courtney Osborn and Kirsten Olowinski.

The Rockets will open their season against Arkansas State Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. in Savage Arena.

Click here to see Toledo’s schedule.

Click to access the login or register cheese