TERRE HAUTE —
The Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, according to a preseason poll of league coaches released Tuesday.
Hanover and Franklin were selected for first and second respectively, with just two poll points separating the two squads.
Transylvania was picked third, with Manchester and Defiance rounding out the top five. Rose was picked sixth, with Bluffton, Mount St. Joseph, Anderson and Earlham rounding out the poll.
The top six teams will qualify for the HCAC tournament in February. Last season, Rose-Hulman earned its first postseason victory in women’s basketball history with a win over Manchester in the first round of the HCAC tournament.
Rose returns four starters and seven letterwinners from the 2011-12 squad. Starters include juniors Heather Finnell and Kelsey Ploof, along with sophomore Grace Gibbs and Sheree Williams.
Rose-Hulman will open its 2012-13 season with a trip to the Emory University Tip-off Tournament in Atlanta on Nov. 17-18.