Head coach Drew Olson’s Bulldogs will begin the 2012-13 campaign ranked No. 1 in the nation. Concordia was placed atop the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll with 11 of 13 first-place votes and 342 total points, the NAIA announced Tuesday.
It’s the Bulldogs first No. 1 national ranking since March 4, 2003. That date marked the ninth-consecutive week that Concordia held down the top spot. Led by then head coach Todd Voss, the Bulldogs went 36-2 overall and advanced to the national semifinals where they lost 66-60 to Hastings, the eventual national champion.
With Tuesday’s announcement, Concordia has now been ranked in 14-straight polls, dating back to the preseason poll of last year. The Bulldogs peeked in the poll at No. 2 last season, a position they held for four weeks in a row from Feb. 6–29. They finished at No. 3 in the postseason ranking.
In 11 all-time trips to the National Championships, Concordia holds a record of 18-11. The Bulldogs have reached the semifinals on three occasions but have never played in a national title game.
Eleven of the last 12 national titles have been won by GPAC schools, including the five championships captured by Northwestern (who has won the last three straight). During that period, Hastings and Morningside have each cut down the nets three times.
The preseason poll contains five GPAC programs: Concordia, No. 2 Northwestern, No. 5 Morningside, No. 8 Briar Cliff and No. 18 Hastings.
The Bulldogs begin their season on Oct. 29 with a 6 p.m. non-conference game at York College.