THURSDAY, OCTOBER 09, 2008
Women’s basketball selected second in A-Sun Preseason Media Poll
Senior guard Virginia Gregoire
Senior guard Virginia Gregoire
After enjoying the most successful season in program history last year, including the program’s first trip to the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championship Game, the JU women’s basketball team was selected second in the 2008-09 A-Sun media poll and third in the coaches poll.

On the media side, JU (six first-place votes) and Kennesaw State (eight first-place votes) were each selected to finish second with 230 points behind defending champion East Tennessee State (12 first place points), which tallied 249 points and was also selected as the tournament champion.

“We are excited to be picked one of the top teams in the conference,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “We have a veteran team with a lot of experience and we know what we have to do to reach our goal of being the A-Sun champion.”

In the coaches poll, ETSU got top billing and was selected as the tournament champion with six first place votes and 124 points while Kennesaw State (106 – four first-place votes) and JU (one-first place vote) rounded out the top three. Belmont (79), Florida Gulf Coast (73), Lipscomb (50), UNF (48), Campbell and Mercer (46), Stetson (33) and USC Upstate (28) made up the rest of the field.

Gregoire, who earned first team all-conference honors in consecutive seasons, received her second preseason accolades after ranking in the top 10 in the conference in points, assists, steals, assists-to-turnover ratio and three-pointers.

“It is an honor for VG to be voted one of the top five players in the league,” said Dunn. “I know she is working hard to become a better player and a better leader for her team going into her senior season.”

Gregoire joins senior forward and preseason MVP Britteny Henderson (KSU) and junior guard Sierra Evans (ETSU) as unanimous selections while senior post Jessica Bobbitt (Belmont) and junior guard Courtney Hawkins (Upstate) made up the remainder of the squad. Last season, JU finished with a program-record 23-9 overall mark and received votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll for the first time in program history. The Dolphins also rewrote the JU record book with 13 new team records, including back-to-back 20-win seasons, consecutive wins (10), consecutive home wins (17) and road wins (9).

The Dolphins open the 2008-09 season with an exhibition contest at Swisher Gymnasium against Flagler on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.