Women's Basketball Cracks the Top 25 with Number 19 Ranking

News Release Date:
Monday, January 7, 2013

*This story was originally published with Whitman ranked #16.

Walla Walla, WA – After an impressive road win at #5 Lewis & Clark, followed by a convincing win at Pacific University this weekend, the Whitman Women’s Basketball team has vaulted into the Top 25 D3Hoops.com poll, landing at #19.

The Missionaries are off to their best start since their Northwest Conference Championship season of 2003-2004. Whitman is currently 11 – 1 on the season – its lone loss to, then, number 14 ranked NAIA Eastern Oregon University in La Grande in overtime. After the successful weekend on the Westside, the Missionaries sit atop the NWC standings by themselves, at 4 – 0, and owners of an 8-game winning streak.

Coach Michelle Ferenz

Although Whitman had been stacking up victories and beating their opponents by an average of 20-points, it wasn’t until the Missionaries knocked of the Pioneers in Portland Friday that the national voters seemed to take notice. “It was huge,” said Whitman Head Coach, Michelle Ferenz, after the game. “We’ve been really close with them the past couple of years. Last year we lost to them three times . . . they’re always close games. It’s just really nice for the ladies to get over the hump. They really played well together. “

The team showed its focus the next night by going out and taking care of business against a strong Pacific team.

Coach Ferenz comments on her team’s focus and chemistry, “One of the things this team does very well, is they just play basketball at times. They know their structure; they know where they are supposed to be offensively, and they make really good reads. They have a good basketball sense and that has been a strength for us all year, along with our resiliency.”

Another strength, up to this stage, has been Whitman’s efficiency on offense. Currently the Whitties have three of the top four ranked players in field-goal percentage in the NWC. Junior Sarah Anderegg at 62.2 % is the conference’s best. Ranked number two is sophomore Heather Lovelace – 56.5 %, and junior Meghan White is fourth at 54.3 %. As a team, the Missionaries are tops in the league at 47%, nearly five percentage points higher than the second ranked team.

Whitman takes its newly adorned ranking into Spokane tomorrow night for a matchup against Whitworth (2 – 2) and 9 - 4. Tip-off is at 6 pm. Live video of the game can be accessed by clicking on: mms://media.whitworth.edu/events; for live stats: http://www.whitworth.edu/Athletics/Teams/basketball/livestats/xlive.htm; and for just audio: http://www.ksbn.net/listen.pls


Andrew Holt

Whitman Sports Information Director