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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's basketball squad has been picked to finish fourth in the 2017-18 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division Preseason Coaches Poll announced today by the league office.
Along with being picked fourth in the division, the Bulldogs also had two of the five players selected to the Preseason All-GLIAC North Division Team in senior center Rachel McInerney (Saginaw/Nouvel) and redshirt sophomore guard Riley Blair (Dearborn/Divine Child).
FSU compiled 36 total points in the balloting process while finishing behind Michigan Tech (58), Grand Valley State (57) and Northern Michigan (52) in the division. Lake Superior State came in fifth (26) behind FSU with newcomer Purdue Northwest sixth (17).
In the South Division poll, Ashland emerged first with all 11 first-place votes and 66 total points followed by Saginaw Valley State (51), Northwood (48), Wayne State (36), Davenport (25) and Tiffin (20).
The Preseason All-GLIAC North Division Team included McInerney, Blair, Michigan Tech's Brenna Heise, GVSU's Taylor Parmley and Northern Michigan's Darby Youngstrom. FSU was the only team in the GLIAC North Division to have multiple players chosen to the all-league preseason squad.
Ferris State will begin its third campaign under head coach Kendra Faustin with a strong nucleus from last year's team returning. FSU returns 10 squad members from last season and also added five incoming freshmen to the lineup this year.
Headlining the list of returnees will be senior center Rachel McInerney, who averaged a team-leading 15.6 points per game a year ago and ranked as one of the top players in the conference.
Along with McInerney, FSU also returns seven other players with starting experience, including junior Riley Blair who was the team's second-leading scorer at 12 points per game. Senior guard Leah Humes (9.1 ppg.) also is back as the Bulldogs return their top five scorers from a year ago.
The Bulldog women will play an exhibition road game against Bethel (Ind.) on Nov. 1 before opening the year on Nov. 10 at Ursuline. FSU will then face Davis & Elkins the following day (Nov. 11) in Pepper Pike, Ohio, before the Bulldogs play their first home game on Nov. 14 against Olivet.