Northwestern totaled 93 points and earned four first place votes, second only to the defending GPAC champion, Concordia, who finished with 96 points and earned the other seven first place votes. Morningside is picked third, followed by Briar Cliff and Hastings.
Dordt College received 50 points for a sixth place tie with Mount Marty.
Dordt was 10-18 last season and 5-15 in the GPAC. The Defenders return their top seven scorers from last season led by Kara Van Dyke and Brianna Spronk with 10.3 and 10.1 scoring averages respectively. Dordt lost six of their conference games in 2011-12 by seven points or less.
Northwestern won its third straight and fifth overall NAIA D-II national championship last season, defeating Ozarks (Mo.) 75-62 in the title game. They finished with a 28-7 overall record and tied with Morningside for second in the GPAC with a 16-4 record. Head coach Chris Yaw, who begins his second season as the head of the women’s basketball program, returns six letterwinners and six of his top eight scorers from the 2011-12 team.
Here is the complete 2012-13 GPAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll: