BRIDGEPORT, W.VA (WDTV) - (Includes comments from Glenville State head coach Kim Stephens, Fairmont State head coach Steve McDonald and WV Wesleyan head coach Vicki Bullett):
We wrap our our MEC basketball previews, taking a look at the three women's teams in North Central West Virginia. The second-year head coaches and the dean of conference coaches are set to take the court in three and a half weeks.
First-year head coach Kim Stephens authored a stellar season at Glenville State, going 24-6, winning the MEC regular season title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. While the Pioneers ended the season on a 2-game losing streak, they'll have a banner to raise in Gilmer County.
The Glenville roster returns almost entirely intact. And they have added Cleveland State transfer and Fairmont State grad Emily Stoller. MEC Player of the Week Paris McLeod returns after averaging nearly a point a game last winter.
The dean of conference coaches is Fairmont State's Steve McDonald. He has won 338 games entering his 18th season. But a new challenge awaits, replacing every single starter.
A mix of newcomers and returning players led by senior Kelli Jo Harrison will fight for minutes. The expectation is that the Falcons can be a much better team in February than in November.
Vicki Bullett begins her second season leading the Wesleyan Bobcats, a team beset by numerous injuries last winter.
Forward Mari Stewart returns for her senior season. She has led the Bobcats in scoring in each of the past three seasons.