The Cal Poly women’s basketball team received one first-place vote and landed fourth overall in the Big West Conference preseason media poll released Wednesday.
The two-time defending Big West regular-season champions garnered 127 points in the poll, falling behind Cal State Northridge (161), Pacific (159) and 2012 conference tournament champion UC Santa Barbara (153).
The Matadors led the way with six first-place votes. The Tigers had five, and the Gauchos had three.
With one first-place vote, Long Beach State (116) placed fifth. Hawaii (91), UC Davis (90), UC Riverside (74), UC Irvine (65) and Cal State Fullerton (29) round out the poll.
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The Mustangs finished 12-4 in conference play last season and 17-15 overall, but they are without two-time former Big West Player of the Year Kristina Santiago, who graduated and is playing professionally in Bulgaria.
Santiago led the conference in scoring(23.4 points per game), rebounds (9.9 per game) and field-goal percentage (.555). She finished as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,924 points, eighth all-time in the Big West.
Cal Poly senior guard Kayla Griffin, the leading returning scorer at 8.6 points per game, was one of six players named to the preseason all-conference team after ranking seventh in the Big West with 6.6 rebounds per game.
Junior point guard Jonae Ervin also figures to be a team leader for Cal Poly this season.