VU Women Picked #1 in Preseason Media Poll

The Southeastern Conference announced on Tuesday afternoon that a poll of selected members of the national and regional media picked Vanderbilt to win the SEC women's basketball championship. In addition, senior Christina Wirth was named 1st Team All-SEC.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Vanderbilt Commodores have been predicted to win the 2009 Southeastern Conference women's basketball championship in a vote by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

The Commodores are coming off a 25-9 season that included the school's 13th trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 and a school-record 11 conference victories. Head Coach Melanie Balcomb's seventh Vanderbilt squad earned 12 first-place votes, topping cross-state rival Tennessee's nine votes and Georgia's four votes.

Vanderbilt topped the order of finish with 273 points, with Tennessee (261), Auburn (246), Georgia (216), LSU (183) and Florida (174) rounding out the top half of the league. Kentucky comes in at seven with 129 votes, followed by Ole Miss (126), Mississippi State (87), Arkansas (81), South Carolina (72) and Alabama (25).

Auburn senior DeWanna Bonner was selected by the assembled media as the preseason choice for SEC Women's Basketball Player of the Year. Vanderbilt's Christina Wirth, also a first-team All-SEC selection last year, also received a vote for Player of the Year.

Joining Bonner and Wirth on the preseason All-SEC First Team were Florida's Marshae Dotson, Georgia's Ashley Houts and Ole Miss' Shawn Goff. The second team consists of Auburn's Whitney Boddie, Florida's Sha Brooks, Georgia's Angel Robinson, LSU's Allison Hightower and Tennessee's Angie Bjorklund and Shekinna Stricklen.

Points were compiled on a 12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each media member also voted for one team as an overall conference champion and a five-player All-SEC Team.

The 2008-09 SEC Media Preseason Poll tips off SEC Basketball Media Days, October 22-23 at the Birmingham Marriott in Alabama. Coach Balcomb is scheduled to appear in front of the media on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. CT, along with senior captains Wirth and Jennifer Risper.

Preseason Media Poll
(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

SEC Champion
Vanderbilt (12)
Tennessee (9)
Georgia (4)

Predicted Order of Finish
1. Vanderbilt, 273 points
2. Tennessee, 261 points
3. Auburn, 246 points
4. Georgia, 216 points
5. LSU, 183 points
6. Florida, 174 points
7. Kentucky, 129 votes
8. Ole Miss, 126 points
9. Mississippi State, 87 point
s 10. Arkansas, 81 points
11. South Carolina, 72 points
12. Alabama, 25 points

Player of the Year
DeWanna Bonner, Auburn (24)
Christina Wirth, Vanderbilt (1)

All-SEC First-Team
DeWanna Bonner, Auburn
Marshae Dotson, Florida
Ashley Houts, Georgia
Shawn Goff, Ole Miss
Christina Wirth, Vanderbilt

All-SEC Second-Team
Whitney Boddie, Auburn
Sha Brooks, Florida
Angel Robinson, Georgia
Allison Hightower, LSU
Angie Bjorklund, Tennessee
Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee

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