PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Preseason Coaches polls for the conferences of four Plymouth State College teams are out as the Panthers go full steam into the 2001-02 winter sports season.
The Little East Conference has announced the preseason men's and women's basketball polls, with PSC picked fourth out of eight in the men's poll and third out of eight in the women's. The PSC ice hockey team was projected to finish 11th out of 13 teams in the ECAC Northeast Division, and the Panther wrestling team is tied for sixth in the New England Division III poll. All four teams will have plenty of action this weekend. The men's hoop squad will be at the Babson Invitational for games Friday and Saturday, while the women's team is at the Swarthmore (Pa.) Tip-Off Tournament Saturday and Sunday. The ice hockey team opens its season with a pair of Northeast road games at Salve Regina and UMass Dartmouth Friday and Saturday, and the wrestlers will be at the Oneonta State (N.Y.) Invitational for an all-day affair on Saturday. The Panther men's hoop squad, led by third-year head coach John Scheinman, was picked fourth behind Western Connecticut (5 first-place votes), UMass Dartmouth (2) and Keene State (1). Eastern Connecticut was voted fifth, followed by UMass Boston, Southern Maine and Rhode Island College. PSC finished 14-12 last season and placed fourth in the conference with an 8-6 mark. PSC's women's basketball team, guided by fourth-year head coach Lauren Lavigne, was predicted to finish third in the LEC behind Eastern Connecticut and Southern Maine, last year's regular season co-champions and this year's pre-season co-favorites, each receiving four first-place votes. Keene Sate was picked fourth, followed by Western Connecticut, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, and Rhode Island College. The Panthers went 20-8 last season and placed third in the conference with a 10-4 record.
The Plymouth State ice hockey squad, which is making its debut under new head coach Chris Hudon, was voted ahead of only Suffolk and Nichols in the ECAC Northeast poll. Lebanon Valley (6 first-place votes) took top honors, followed by Wentworth (3), UMass Dartmouth, Johnson & Wales (2) and Fitchburg State in the top five. Worcester State, Salve Regina, Framingham State, Curry, and Western New England make up the next five. PSC finished 4-20-1 overall last season and placed 10th in the ECAC Northeast at 4-13-0.
The Panther wrestlers, led by seventh-year head coach Dave Carlson, are tied with Trinity for sixth in the New England Division III poll. Springfield leads the poll, followed by Coast Guard, Roger Williams, Johnson & Wales, and Wesleyan in the top five. PSC finished 9-9 last season and placed seventh at the New England Championships.