Oct. 23, 2013
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2013-14 Big West preseason poll as voted on by a panel of media members the conference office announced Wednesday afternoon.
The 49ers received a total of 120 points, finishing just one point behind third-place Cal State Northridge. Cal Poly was tabbed as the preseason favorite, earning 17 first-place votes and 177 points, while Hawai'i claimed the remaining three first-place nods and collected 159 points to come in second.
Rounding out the poll were UC Santa Barbara (100 points), UC Davis (72), Cal State Fullerton (59), UC Irvine (54) and UC Riverside (38).
LBSU junior guard Alex Sanchez was also selected to the six-player preseason all-conference team. She was joined by Brittany Crain (UC Riverside), Sydnee Fipps (UC Davis), Ashlee Guay (Cal State Northridge), Kamilah Jackson (Hawai'i) and Molly Schlemer (Cal Poly). Sanchez, a two-time All-Big West honorable mention pick, is coming off a sophomore campaign in which she averaged a team-best 10.6 points and 4.1 assists per game.
Long Beach State welcomes back seven letterwinners, including four starters, from a 2012-13 squad that went 16-16 and earned an invitation to the WNIT. It was the program's first postseason appearance in 13 years.
In addition to Sanchez, junior center Devin Hudson returns after averaging 9.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest. She garnered All-Big West honorable mention recognition and was named to the Big West All-Tournament Team last year.
Also back this season is senior Jade Wilson (3.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg), and juniors Bianka Balthazar (9.0 ppg), Lauren Spargo (7.6 ppg), Ella Clark (7.6 ppg), Chantel Dooley (5.8 ppg) and Hallie Meneses. In all, LBSU has eight upperclassmen.
Long Beach State officially opens the season at 2013 NCAA Final Four participant Cal on Friday, Nov. 8. The 49ers will host Loyola Marymount in their home opener on Nov. 23.
2013-14 Big West Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Cal Poly (17) - 177
2. Hawai'i (3) - 159
3. Cal State Northridge - 121
4. Long Beach State - 120
5. UC Santa Barbara - 100
6. UC Davis - 72
7. Cal State Fullerton - 59
8. UC Irvine - 54
9. UC Riverside - 38
2013-14 Preseason All-Conference Team
Brittany Crain (UC Riverside), So., Guard
Sydnee Fipps (UC Davis), Jr., Forward
Ashlee Guay (Cal State Northridge), Jr., Guard
Kamilah Jackson (Hawai'i), Sr., Forward
Alex Sanchez (Long Beach State), Jr., Guard
Molly Schlemer (Cal Poly), Sr., Center
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