Women’s Rank Fifth in NEC Media Day Preseason Poll

By Sheldon Gomes

Staff Writer

Craig D’Amico and Pam Roecker welcomed audiences to the 10th annual NEC Women’s Basketball Media Day on Wednesday Oct. 27.

At the top of the broadcast, Women’s Basketball’s All NEC team was announced including Kendall Bresee of Mount St. Mary’s, Brooke Bjelko of Bryant, Adrianne Hagood of Sacred Heart, Emilija Krista Grava of Wagner and the Knights very own Madison Stanley.

Mount Saint Mary’s was unanimously projected to place first in the conference in the preseason poll. 

The full preseason poll is ranked below:

1. Mount St. Mary’s 

2. Wagner

3. Saint Francis

4. Sacred Heart

5. Fairleigh Dickinson

6. St. Francis Brooklyn

7. Bryant

8. Merrimack

9. LIU

10. CCSU

The women’s team was ranked higher than the men’s in the preseason poll rankings this year, finishing as the fifth seed in the conference. This ranking comes after a regular season in which the Knights were able to finish on a seven-game win streak which amounted to 4th in the conference with an overall record of 16-8 and 12-6 against their conference opponents. 

Upon making the NEC tournament in 2021, the Knights were eliminated in the semifinals after playing a tough 1st seed team in Mount St. Mary’s which would end up taking home the NEC championship.

Angelika Szumilo, who is the head coach of FDU Women’s Basketball and graduate forward Madison Stanley, represented the Knights for Media Day. 

Szumilo talked about watching her Knights battle in the semifinals from home after having to go into quarantine.

 “It was tough to watch that and I can only imagine it was very tough to watch for the players that didn’t play—but I was so extremely proud of our entire team,” said Szumilo.

Szumilo also talked about the upcoming season and highlighted last year’s semi-finals loss.

“I can tell you from the returning players, they remember that feeling so I think that’s what keeps them motivated,” Szumilo said.

Madison Stanley was also able to offer some comments about heading into the season this year. 

“My goal is to win an NEC championship, that’s something that we haven’t done here in my five years and I’m really grateful that I get to come back and compete with my team,” said Stanley.

The Knights have made it a habit to consistently improve and carry over momentum and Stanley made sure to credit her head coach for the growth.

“Every year we’ve been growing and growing since coach Ang has gotten here, and with her philosophies and us following that, I think we’ll always be successful,” Stanley added.

The Knights will tip-off their season on Wednesday, Nov. 10th when they face St. John’s University at 7 p.m.

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The teams a part of the NEC Women’s basketball media day where the Knights were projected to come in fifth.

Art by Jen Malti