TC teams picked 3rd in preseason polls

The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches and media picked the Tabor College women?s basketball team third in the 10-team conference at the conclusion of Tuesday?s media day in Wichita.

The coaches picked the Tabor men third, while media voters picked the men sixth.

On the men?s side, 2007 conference champion Ottawa received all but one first place vote from both coaches and media. Ottawa posted a 14-4 record in KCAC games last season, and went 21-7 overall.

Tabor, which placed sixth with a 9-9 conference last year, received the other first place votes.

The Bluejays roster includes all-conference first team pick Orson Thomas and honorable mentions Zach Vanselow and Aaron Whitelaw.

They are part of a group of upperclassmen that includes Kyle Kroeker, who was honored with a selection to the conference?s all-freshmen team two years ago.

The group of returning upperclassmen also includes sharpshooter Jared Hett and sparkplug Mike Rousell on the perimeter.

Jordan Funk and Kyle deBlonk return for their sophomore seasons after effective freshman campaigns.

Lance Baar, who was highly effective playing a limited role last season, is one of a group of seniors that includes Whitelaw, Vanselow, Hett, Brett Curran and Jeff Hussong.

On top of the skill and experience of those returning, coach Micah Ratzlaff has 12 freshmen and two transfers entering the program?several of whom he expects to make a strong case for varsity playing time.

Tabor was picked ninth prior to Ratzlaff?s first season at the helm, but given the success the Bluejays tasted a year ago, it is not shocking that Tabor leapfrogged McPherson in the preseason poll.

But in the coaches poll, the Bluejays also jumped decisively ahead of Sterling, Friends and Kansas Wesleyan.

The media poll showed a much smaller rise, pegging the Bluejays 14 points behind Kansas Wesleyan, in almost a dead heat with Friends and Sterling.

Despite the disagreement in the details both polls have the Tabor men?s team trending up.

The same is true on the women?s side, as Tabor women were ranked a spot higher than they placed one year ago.

The Bluejays finished fourth in the conference with a 10-8 record. But the program lost four seniors to graduation, including all-conference guards Stacie Herman and Joanna Pyle.

This season?s seniors include guard Kirsten Watson and forward Brittany Roth.

Both players played significant minutes last season and coach Shawn Winter?s team will look to them for leadership.

Junior guards Chelsea Malone and Stephanie Silvas will anchor the backcourt, and returning sophomore guard Katie Mount will have an increasing role as she recovers from a broken arm.

Transfer guards Andrea Robinson and Eboni Sweat will compete for major roles on the perimeter.

Another junior college transfer, Roxanne Stauffer, will look to compete for time at the wing.

Freshman Gina Hullet, a 6-1 post from Abilene High School will bring a strong presence to Tabor?s inside game this season.

Sarah Wyckoff, a 6-0 forward from Blackwell, Okla., will compete for time in the paint, and 6-3 center Heather Witham will also help out inside.

But the calibre of competition in the KCAC continues to increase, even as one team continues to set itself apart: Sterling won 17 conference games last year and swept the first place votes in the media poll.

The Warriors garnered nine of the ten coaches votes.

Coming?The Tabor men?s season slate opens Nov. 8 at Rogers State, and the Bluejays host non-conference games on the 10th and 14th. The Bluejays play four more non-conference games on the road, including two 4 p.m. games at the annual Sterling College Classic Nov. 21-22.

The women?s schedule opens Nov. 4 at Baker and features early-season non-conference games at Emporia State Nov. 15-16 and the Sterling College Classic Nov. 21-22.

The women also have two 6 p.m. home games in their first month?Nov. 10 against Oklahoma Wesleyan and Nov. 18 against Univ. of Science and Arts.


KCAC Men?s Basketball

Coaches Poll

1. Ottawa (9) 99

2. Southwestern 87

3. Tabor (1) 77

4. Kansas Wesleyan 60

5. Sterling 51

6. Friends 48

7. Saint Mary 37

8. Bethel 36

9. Bethany 28

10. McPherson 27

Media Poll

1. Ottawa (10) 109

2. Southwestern 99

3. Kansas Wesleyan 74

4. Friends 66

5. Sterling 63

6. Tabor (1) 61

7. Bethel 48

8. Bethany 34

9. McPherson 28

10. Saint Mary 23


KCAC Women?s Basketball

Coaches Poll

1. Sterling (9) 99

2. Southwestern (1) 78

3. Tabor 64

4t. Friends 63

4t. Ottawa 63

6. Bethel 53

7. Kansas Wesleyan 50

8. Bethany 36

9. Saint Mary 31

10. McPherson 13

Media Poll

1. Sterling (10) 100

2. Southwestern 84

3. Tabor 66

4. Friends 62

7. Kansas Wesleyan 58

6. Bethel 49

5. Ottawa 47

8. Bethany 40

9. Saint Mary 23

10. McPherson 21

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