OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. —
Fellow East Coast Conference coaches have lofty expectations for the NYIT women's basketball team, too.
NYIT received one first-place vote and was picked to finish second of 10 teams in the league's preseason poll, which was released Thursday.
LIU Post, in its final season in the ECC before Long Island University merges its Brooklyn and Brookville programs and competes in the Division I Northeast Conference in 2019-20, received eight-first place votes and was picked first, accumulating 98 points.
After NYIT (84 points), St. Thomas Aquinas received one first-place vote and 83 points for third place.
The remainder of the preseason poll: No. 4 Roberts Wesleyan (61 points), No. 5 Queens (54), No. 6 Molloy (47), No. 7 Bridgeport (44), No. 8 Daemen (41), No. 9 District of Columbia (21) and No. 10 Mercy (17).
LIU Post's Sasha Patterson was named ECC Preseason Player of the Year.
NYIT, which has reached consecutive ECC tournament finals under coach Kenny Parham
, opens its regular season on Saturday at 11 a.m. against host Adelphi in the ECC/Northeast-10 Challenge.
The Bears christened their season with a loss to Division I Fordham, 75-54, last weekend in an exhibition game at Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx.
NYIT did lose last year's top two scorers — point guard Nina Vukosavljevic
and forward Maia Hood
. But 2016-17 leading scorer Meg Knollmeyer
has returned after missing last season recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. And nine newcomers have arrived to supplement a talented core that includes sophomores Shalie Frierson
, Taylor Tripptree
and Jill Spagnuola
NYIT went 19-12 overall and 11-7 in the ECC last season.