PRINCETON, N.J. - The University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team was picked to finish first in the Ivy League’s Preseason Media Poll, garnering 17 first place votes and 136 points as the preseason favorite to win the conference. The announcement was made on Wednesday morning prior to the start of the 2016-17 season.
Today’s announcement marks the fourth straight year the Red and Blue have earned first-place votes in the preseason poll and the second time in three seasons they’ve been chosen for first place laurels. The Quakers tied with Princeton in the 2014-15 edition of the rankings and were picked second a year ago in 2015-16. Votes came from two members of each school’s media contingent in addition to one national voter.
Princeton, which was runner-up to Penn by a game last year, was picked second with 110 total voting points. Harvard was picked third by the panel with 104 votes while Cornell rounded out the top-4 members with 76 points. Dartmouth (66), Yale (56), Brown (40) and Columbia (24) were picked to finish in the bottom half.
The 2016-17 season marks the first time the Ivy League will hold a postseason tournament in women’s basketball. The top four teams in the regular-season standings will meet at The Palestra the weekend of March 11-12 to determine the Ancient Eight’s NCAA Tournament bid.
The Red and Blue return 10 letterwinners, five starters and three All-Ivy honorees from a team that reached the postseason for the fourth-straight year. The Quakers were 24-5 last year, including 13-1 in Ivy play, and earned the Ivy League title and NCAA Tournament berth. The Quakers were also first in the Ancient Eight in RPI and ranked in the top 100 in the nation in strength of schedule.
The Quakers open the 2016-17 season on Sunday, Nov. 13at Duke in Durham, N.C. They’ll return home to the friendly confines of the Palestra for their home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 16 against Binghamton.
NOTES: The Ivy League women's basketball preseason poll was instituted in 1999-2000... Since then five
teams (including this year’s Quakers) have been unanimous selections to
place first... This is the third time the Quakers have been selected to finish first; they previously accomplished the feat in 1999-00 (first year of
the preseason poll) and 2000-01... Penn (2016-17), Princeton (2010-11), Dartmouth (2005-06), and Harvard (2002-03, 2003-04) have all swept first place votes in conference history... Penn has been voted into first place twice in program history (1999-00, 2000-01).
2016-17 Ivy League Women’s Basketball Preseason Media Poll
*First place votes in parenthesis
1. Penn, 136 (17)
2. Princeton, 110
3. Harvard, 104
4. Cornell, 76
5. Dartmouth, 66
6. Yale, 56
7. Brown, 40
8. Columbia, 24