The Hiram College women’s basketball team was picked to finish seventh in the 2012 North Coast Athletic Conference Coaches’ Poll. [2012 NCAC Preseason Poll]
Hiram had 27 points to place seventh of nine teams. Defending NCAC Tournament Champion DePauw (Ind.) University was selected as the favorite with 78 points and eight first-place votes. Denison University was second with 69 points and one first-place vote. Tied for third was Kenyon College and Wittenberg University with 55 points each.
The Terriers will return two starters and 12 letterwinners in 2012-13. However, the Terriers will be without All-NCAC guards and graduated seniors Kelsey Durichko and Tiffany Shields.
Of the returning players, Hiram will be led by trio of seniors in Chelsea Kovach (Lakewood),Calysia Smyers (Akron/Coventry) and Brenna Host (Seven Hills/Normandy). Smyers led the trio in scoring last season, and was second overall, with a 6.5 points per game average while shooting 30.9 percent (54-of-175) from the floor. Kovach followed closely behind with a 6.4 ppg. average and Host saw playing time in 23 games as a backup forward scoring 46 points and grabbing 48 rebounds.
Also back this winter will be juniors Danielle Day (Newbury), Marisa Thomas (Lorain/Amherst),Alexis Kemper (Centerville) and sophomores Kelsey Koskinen (Madison), Larissa Davis(Cleveland Heights), Bridgette Click (Newton Falls), Jasmine Kellom (Black River), Taylor Ratliff (Berea/Columbia) and Samantha Morford (Jefferson). All saw significant roles as backup players last season led by Morford who averaged 4.5 ppg. and led the team in field goal percentage at 48.6 percent (34-of-70).
Hiram will officially open the 2012-13 season at the Bluffton University Tournament on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 16-17. The Terriers will take on Pitt-Greensburg (Pa.) on Friday in the season opener at 8 p.m.