Women's Basketball Receives Highest Final Ranking in Program History
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The final touches have been put on the Missionaries' memorable 2012-13 season with the release of the final basketball polls. After their Elite 8 run in the NCAA Tournament, the Whitman (23-6) received the No. 11 spot in the D3 Hoops.com poll and a 22nd ranking in the USA Today Coaches poll.
Coach Michelle Ferenz
The No. 11 ranking is the highest final season ranking in program history and was also the highest of any Northwest Conference women's basketball team in the final D3 Hoop poll. Lewis & Clark (25-4), whom Whitman defeated twice on the Pioneer's home floor -- the second victory coming in the tournament's 2nd round --, finished in the No. 22 spot as the only other NWC school in the D3 Hoops year-end rankings. Whitman had been unranked entering the NCAA Tournament.
Sarah Anderegg, Jr.
"I am really proud of how our kids grew up as the season progressed", said Coach Michelle Ferenz. "They just kept rising to the challenge. I felt like they never thought that they couldn't beat another team or that they shouldn't be there. They just always found a way to win."
In the USA Today rankings, L & C actually ended up one spot ahead of the Missionaries at No. 21, receiving two more points (57) than Whitman.
Heather Johns, So.
The lofty final rankings are a culmination of a season that possessed many highlights. Coach Ferenz's squad achieved the program's first 20 win season and most conference victories (13) since the advent of the new NWC format. The team not only made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, but also, set a new high standard by rattling off three wins and playing in the Regional Finals. In the process, Ferenz was selected NWC Coach of the Year for the second time in her twelve years at Whitman -- she also received the honor after the 2003-04 regular season.
Meghan White, Jr.
Although the 2012-13 Missionaries personified the definition of "team", several players received postseason accolades. Junior post Sarah Anderegg (Redmond, WA) was named to the NWC First Team after leading the conference in field-goal percentage and ranking third in scoring. Sophomore point-guard Heather Johns (W. Richland, WA) landed on the NWC Second Team after averaging nearly 12 points per game (5th NWC) and ranking second in conference in assists at over 3 per game. Junior post Meghan White (Huntington Beach, CA) received NWC Honorable Mention honors as the conference's third-leading rebounder (8.9 reb/g) and second best shot blocker (1.3 Blk/g).
"I am so impressed by this team's effort and how different kids stepped up at different times throughout the season", said Ferenz. "We got great contributions off the bench and they were very much 'a team'. They played together and that is what it takes to be successful."
For Complete D3 Hoops.com rankings http://www.d3hoops.com/top25/women/2012-13/final
For complete USA Today rankings http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/basketball-women/d3/usa_today_coaches
Whitman Sports Information Director