STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton women’s basketball was selected to finish seventh in both the Preseason Western Athletic Conference Coaches and Media Polls on Tuesday.
The Texans received 23 points in each poll and were picked to finish ahead of fellow WAC newcomer Dixie State and Chicago State. Utah Valley (57 points) was named the preseason favorite in the coaches’ poll, which is voted on by conference head coaches, while California Baptist (61 points) was picked to win the conference in the media poll.
California Baptist (55 points), Grand Canyon (47 points) and New Mexico State (45 points) also received first-place votes in the coaches’ poll. UT Rio Grande Valley (44 points) and Seattle U (29 points) were picked to finish fifth and sixth and ahead of Tarleton.
The Lancers claimed 5-of-8 first-place votes in the media poll. Utah Valley (60 points), UT Rio Grande Valley (56 points), New Mexico State (53 points) and Seattle U (41 points) were tabbed to finish in the top-half of the conference standings. Grand Canyon (39 points), which received a first-place vote, was picked to finish one spot ahead of the Texans.
Tarleton senior Alexa Hoy was also named to the Preseason Coaches’ All-WAC second team.
Hoy is one of three returning starters from a 2019-2020 team that finished 21-8 in its final season at the Division II level and as a member of the Lone Star Conference. The Rockwall, Texas native is the Texans’ leading returning scorer (9.7 ppg) and started in all 23 games she appeared in before injuries cut her season short.
“Normally preseason votes or rankings mean very little, but this year it feels different,” said head coach Misty Wilson. “In this case, a player from a team that has never competed in this conference or at this level to be included on the preseason All WAC Team makes a statement. I understand it is based on what Alexa was able to do last year, but it is an honor, and she is deserving, and I know she will work very hard and use her talent to ensure her team’s success, as that is her priority every day.”
The honor is the latest addition to Hoy’s ever-growing list of basketball accolades. She received LSC honorable mention recognition in her first season with the Texans after transferring to Tarleton from UTEP in 2019. Hoy was given the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Award at Hill College in 2018 as well.
Fellow seniors Lucy Benson (5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Kaitly Guillory (4.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg) join Hoy as returning starter. The Texans 2020-21 roster also features three players who started at least one game last season in Marissa Escamilla 9.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg), Kandyn Faurie (6.3 ppg, 2.4 apg) and Jayci Morton (2.5 ppg, 2 rpg).
Wilson rounded out the roster by adding six newcomers, including junior college transfers Emily Cunningham and Nya Moody and freshmen Emily Cavey, Iyana Dorsey and Blythe Williams.
The Texans open the conference portion of their season on Jan. 7-8 in Phoenix with consecutive games against Grand Canyon. The WAC released its men’s and women’s basketball schedules on Monday. In an effort to reduce travel and exposure, teams will play back-to-back games versus the same opponent at the same site.
Both Tarleton basketball programs’ are finalizing their non conference schedules, which will be released in the coming days.