The three-time defending Big South champion Lady Flames are ranked No. 8 in the inaugural CollegeInsider.com Women's Mid-Major Top 25 listing.
Liberty earned a spot in the first-ever CollegeInsider.com Women's Mid-Major Top 25 poll, as announced this afternoon. The Lady Flames start the season ranked No. 8. Gonzaga opens the year as the top-ranked team, after advancing to the Sweet 16 of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. The women's Mid-Major Top 25 is comprised of teams from the America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt and West Coast Conference. Three-time defending Big South Conference champion Liberty is one of two conference teams represented in the inaugural Top 25, as 2010 Big South regular-season champion Gardner-Webb checks in at No. 23. The Lady Flames are also slated to meet two other Top 25 squads during the 2010-11 campaign. Liberty will open the year with a matchup against No. 20 Creighton, Nov. 12 at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational in Raleigh, N.C. Head coach Carey Green's squad will also travel to No. 3 James Madison on Dec. 5. Liberty, previously tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the 2011 Big South Conference title, returns four starters from last year's 27-6 team. Redshirt sophomore guard/forward Devon Brown is the Preseason Big South Player of the Year, while redshirt junior forward Avery Warley joined Brown on the preseason all-conference team. Aiming for its 14th trip to the NCAA Tournament in the past 15 seasons, the Lady Flames will tip off the 2010-11 campaign with a pair of games at the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational, Nov. 12-13 in Raleigh, N.C. The season lid-lifter versus Creighton of the Missouri Valley Conference will tip off Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. The tournament's other first-round tilt features College of Charleston and host N.C. State.
CollegeInsider.com Women's Mid-Major Top 25 (Oct. 27) First-place votes listed in parentheses
1. Gonzaga (12) - 709 points 2. Green Bay (11) - 693 3. James Madison (7) - 656 4. Arkansas-Little Rock (1) - 606 5. Bowling Green - 599 6. Princeton - 517 7. Marist - 461 8. Liberty - 457 9. Middle Tennessee - 440 10. Hartford - 395 11. Old Dominion - 369 12. Lehigh - 310 13. Illinois State - 297 14. Florida Gulf Coast - 284 15. South Dakota State - 276 16. Toledo - 241 17. Chattanooga - 233 18. Vermont - 228 19. Oral Roberts - 211 20. Creighton - 208 21. Western Kentucky - 173 22. Butler - 165 23. Gardner-Webb - 149 24. Delaware - 147 25. St. Mary's - 143
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