Tennessee Wesleyan is the team to beat, according to the 2011-12 Appalachian Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Coaches' Preseason Poll released Tuesday. It should come as no surprise the Lady Bulldogs enter the new season as the favorites in the AAC as they have won 22 consecutive matches against AAC opponents, including the last two conference tournaments. Tennessee Wesleyan's last conference loss came at Bluefield (Va.) on Feb. 13, 2010. The Lady Bulldogs won their final two regular-season conference games that season as well as three conference tournament games before going 14-0 in AAC play in 2010-11 and repeating as conference champs.
Tennessee Wesleyan advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NAIA National Championship Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, finishing 30-4 overall and ranked No. 14 in the nation.
Tennessee Wesleyan collected eight of the possible 10 first-place votes and garnered 97 points to land atop the poll. Milligan (Tenn.) is second with 85 points with Montreat (N.C.) third at 80. Union (Ky.) is fourth at 68, Reinhardt (Ga.) fifth at 53, and Virginia Interment sixth at 52. Bluefield (Va.) landed seventh at 50 with Bryan (Tenn.) eighth at 29, Columbia (S.C.) ninth at 22 and Point (Ga.) 10th at 14.
The NAIA released the Division II Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll on Monday, the Lady Bulldogs led all AAC squads with 273 total points to land at No. 9. Milligan (Tenn.) followed with 132 to come in at No. 21. Montreat (N.C.) garnered 35 points and Union (Ky.) had 15 as they landed outside the NAIA Top 25.
Tennessee Wesleyan opens their season on November 5th at 12:00 pm at Lee University, followed by a game at Tennessee Temple on November 8th. The Lady Bulldogs host the TWC Classic on November 11th and 12th and will play in their first home game against Alice Lloyd College at 8:00 pm on the 11th.