By Kyle Krajewski
The women’s basketball team was voted first in the PSAC East Preseason Coaches’ Poll and voted ninth in the preseason D2SIDA Atlantic Region Poll going into the 2018-19 season.
Coming off of a season in which the Golden Bears won 18 games, the most since the 2009-10 season, the team returns a majority of their starters. KU had advanced to the PSAC quarterfinals for the first time since 2014-15 after defeating Bloomsburg in a first-round home game.
KU returns four of its five starters from last season: sophomore Rylee Derr, junior Gabbi Wright, junior Karen Lapkiewicz and senior Taylor Thames.
Derr averaged a team-high 13.6 points per game last season and broke the school record for points scored by a freshman (409) after leading the entire PSAC with 2.9 3-pointers made per game
Thames led KU in assists with 77 and averaged 7.4 points per game. Wright looks to take complete control on defense for the Golden Bears with an increased role after averaging 6.4 points per game and 3.1 rebounds per game in her sophomore season. Lapkiewicz proved she could do it all after posting 7.5 points per game, two assists per game and 3.4 rebounds per game in her sophomore campaign.
Behind those four, the Golden Bears have a deep bench of returning players. KU returns 80.1 percent of it’s scoring from last year and will have no problem seeing contributions from everyone on the lineup.
East Stroudsburg sits right behind KU at number two in the PSAC East Preseason Poll with two first-place votes as compared to KU’s five. West Chester, reigning PSAC East champions, comes in at third with Bloomsburg claiming fourth with a single first-place vote.