Basketball Lady ‘Cats picked last in MEC preseason poll

BRIDGEPORT – Following a vote of the league’s 11 head coaches, West Virginia State has been named the preseason favorite in Mountain East Conference Women’s Basketball in 2023-24.

The MEC preseason poll was unveiled prior to media day on Wednesday afternoon at the Bridgeport Conference Center.

The Yellow Jackets received eight first-place votes and 98 points during balloting. West Virginia State is coming off a 22-7 campaign and returns three All-MEC standouts this winter, including forwards Anysa Jordan and Destiny Field, and guard Shelby Harmeyer.

West Virginia State earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2004 last season and ended the year ranked first in the nation in scoring offense (91.2) and rebounds per game (51.7).

The University of Charleston was picked second in preseason voting with 82 points and one first-place vote. Charleston went 24-9 a season ago and returns Haley Moore, Clarrissa Francis and Jamia Nesmith to the lineup this winter. UC is coming off its fifth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Glenville State was voted third during preseason balloting with two first-place votes and 79 points. After a national championship in 2022 and a final four appearance in 2023, the Pioneers are under first-year head coach Emily Stoller this season. The Pioneers went 33-3 a season ago and return All-MEC standout Hya Haywood to the lineup this season. GSU also added transfers Lauren Calhoun (Wheeling) and Dejaan Schuler (Stetson) to the lineup during the offseason.

Fairmont State was voted fourth with 73 points. The Falcons went 23-9 a season ago and return nearly 84 percent of its scoring from a season ago, including All-MEC standouts Alyssa DeAngelo and Katy Darnell.

West Liberty is fifth in the preseason poll with 71 points. The ‘Toppers return plenty of familiar faces in 2023-24, including Karly McCutcheon, Corinne Thomas, Grace Faulk and Bailee Smith at the guard position. The Hilltoppers ranked second in the country in assists (19.1) and 3-point field goal percentage (.386) last season.

Concord was voted sixth with 59 points, followed by Frostburg State (44), Notre Dame (34), Wheeling (33), Davis & Elkins (20) and West Virginia Wesleyan (12).

Mountain East Conference
Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll


  1. West Virginia State (8) 98
  2. Charleston (1) 82
  3. Glenville State (2) 79
  4. Fairmont State 73
  5. West Liberty 71
  6. Concord 59
  7. Frostburg State 44
  8. Notre Dame 34
  9. Wheeling 33
  10. Davis & Elkins 20
  11. West Virginia Wesleyan 12

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