BOSTON - The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the America East preseason coaches poll released today. Last year's conference tournament runner-up University of Vermont was chosen to finish first and garnered eight of the nine first-place votes to finish with 80 points.

The University of Hartford recorded the remaining first-place vote and was second with 69 points, followed by the University of Maine (64 points) then UNH (49). Rounding out the poll were Boston University and Northeastern (tied for fifth with 41 points each), and newcomers Stony Brook (26), Binghamton (23) and Albany (12).

UNH (10-18, 8-10 a year ago) returns four starters, including the top three scorers from a year ago - senior center Anna Matthias (Guilford, Conn.), senior guard Heidi Plencer (Hampton, NH) and junior forward Taylor Jarvis (Nazareth, Pa.). Matthias led the 'Cats in scoring (12.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg), Plencer recorded 10.2 ppg and led the squad with 51 3-pointers, and Jarvis posted 7.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg. while filling in for the injured Aubrey Danen (Oconomowoc, Wis.) last season. Danen, a medical redshirt last year, is also back after seeing time as a starter her first two seasons. Senior point guard Kiki Proctor (Harrisburg, Pa.) is the fourth returning starter.

UNH, which defeated Bishop's University 70-32 last weekend, will have one more exhibition game against Galatasaray (Istanbul, Turkey) on Sunday (11/11) before opening the season against Morgan State Nov. 16 at the Seton Hall Tournament.

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