INDIANAPOLIS – The Ohio Dominican women's basketball team is projected to finish sixth place in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference standings this year.
ODU returns to action in 2020-21 on the heels of its fifth consecutive postseason appearance. The Panthers received 63 points in the 2020-21 G-MAC Preseason Coaches Poll, presented by Under Armour. Last season the Panther women were projected to finish in sixth place in the conference and did just that with a 12-6 record in G-MAC conference play during the 2019-20 season.
The Panther women finished in seventh place in the 2018-19 season and tied for fifth place in their first season of G-MAC play in 2017-18.
As was the case in 2019-20, Walsh and Kentucky Wesleyan were selected as favorites again this winter, collecting 121 points and 107 points respectively. The defending champion Cavaliers received 11 first-place votes, while their Panther counterparts received one first-place vote. Walsh was the lone representative of the G-MAC in last season's NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship.
Cedarville University is projected to have a third-place finish with 98 points, while Findlay and Malone University are projected in the fourth and fifth positions with 96 and 83 points each. The remainder of the poll that follows ODU in the sixth position includes Tiffin (50), Ursuline (44), Hillsdale (43), Trevecca Nazarene (40), Lake Erie (36), and Ohio Valley (11).
Head coach Lynsey Warren enters her ninth season at the helm of the Panthers, coming into the new campaign after going 17-12 overall and 12-6 in G-MAC play one year ago. In its four seasons in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, Ohio Dominican has complied an all-time record of 38-30 (.558).
Warren has led the Panthers to a 122-102 (.544) record during her time patrolling the sidelines in Black and Gold and that includes a record of 90-80 (.529) in conference play. ODU has won 15-plus games in each of the last five seasons.
The Panthers return nine players to the roster in 2020-21, including four of the team's top-scorers from a season ago. Senior Angela Troyer (Sugarcreek, Ohio) is one of those that lead the Black and Gold into battle this season.
Last season she was among ODU's leaders in four of the five major categories. The senior was second on the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game, which was 10th best in the conference. Troyer had the most double-digit scoring performances for the Panthers last winter, doing so in 25 of 29 games played. To go along with her scoring, she averaged 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals per outing. Troyer also paced all G-MAC guards in field goal percentage at .476.
Senior Olivia Fox (Newark, Ohio) and junior Alli Kern (Waterford, Ohio) return this year and aim to play a massive role in the Panther frontcourt this season. The duo combined for 354 rebounds last year, with Kern leading the team in defensive rebounds with 171.
Junior Kennedy Schlabach (Millersburg, Ohio) returns to action for her third season in Black and Gold and looks to build off a career season where she scored 292 points during her sophomore campaign.
ODU will benefit from the leadership of players like Bailey Williams (Dublin, Ohio), Celeste Mershimer (Amanda, Ohio), Camryn Gramke (Cincinnati, Ohio), Grace Hete (Akron, Ohio), and Amanda Schroeder (Dayton, Ohio) who will provide key minutes for the Black & Gold this season.
This season sees five newcomers to Alumni Hall this season, led by graduate transfer Myka Roth (Delphi, Indiana). Roth comes to Sunbury Road after attending the University of Illinois-Springfield. During her time with the Prairie Stars, Roth appeared in 32 games (7 starts) and averaged 12.3 minutes per game.
Four freshmen begin their collegiate careers as the Panthers welcome Jorja Bolton (Toowoomba, Australia), Camryn Pickerill (Seaman, Ohio), Claire Sinn (Haviland, Ohio), and Gabby Stare (Newark, Ohio) to Sunbury Road.
The Panthers begin the 2020-21 campaign on Thursday, December 3, when they welcome Cedarville University to Central Ohio. Following that game, ODU hits the road to take on the Tiffin Dragons on Saturday, December 5 at 1:00 p.m. Five of the first six contests will be played inside of the friendly confines of Alumni Hall.
Contact: Ralph Schudel