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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference office has announced the 2017-18 preseason poll and all-conference teams Wednesday morning. The Spartans were picked to finish third in the league in the coaches poll, and fourth in the media poll. Sophomore Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) was named to the 2017-18 Preseason All-Southern Conference Team.

UNCG, coming off its first postseason appearance since the 2001-02 season, will look to improve on its 20-15 season. The Spartans return two All-SoCon honorees from last season, including the SoCon’s Freshman of the Year on Soliman. Te’ja Twitty (Rutherfordton, N.C./Rutherfordton-Spindale Central) has been named a team captain for the upcoming season and will look to improve upon a rookie season that saw her named to the All-Freshman team honors.

Soliman finished the 2016-17 season as a Second Team All-SoCon selection after starting all 35 games. She averaged 16.2 points per game, ranking fourth in the league and was the nation’s leading scorer among all freshman. She added 4.3 rebounds per game and was tied for the team-lead with 50 steals on the season.

Mercer led all teams with three competitors on the Preseason All-SoCon Team, as well as the Preseason Player of the Year in Kahlia Lawrence. Chattanooga had two selections, with ETSU, Furman, Samford, Wofford and the Spartans all with one selection.

Mercer was picked to finish first in both polls, earning seven of the eight first place votes in the coaches poll, and nine of 13 in the media poll. Chattanooga, the 2016-17 Southern Conference Tournament Champions, was picked second in both polls, earning four first place votes in the coaches poll. UNCG garnered a first place vote in the league’s coaches poll as it was picked third with 34 points. ETSU was picked fourth, just one point behind the Spartans. Furman and Samford follow at fifth and sixth, respectively, with Wofford and Western Carolina rounding out the coaches poll.

2017-18 Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll

Team (1st-Place Votes)               Total

  1. Mercer (7)                         49
  2. Chattanooga                      40
  3. UNCG (1)                          34
  4. ETSU                                33
  5. Furman                            28
  6. Samford                           20
  7. Wofford                            12
  8. Western Carolina                8


2017-18 Preseason Player of the Year

Kahlia Lawrence, Sr., G, Mercer


2017-18 Preseason All-Southern Conference Team

Tianna Tarter, Sr., G, ETSU

Cierra Carter, Sr., G/F, Furman

KeKe Calloway, Jr., G, Mercer

Kahlia Lawrence, Sr., G, Mercer

Sydni Means, Sr., G, Mercer

Nadine Soliman, So, G, UNCG

Hannah Nichols, Sr., G, Samford

Lakelyn Bouldin, So., G, Chattanooga

Keiana Gilbert, Sr., G, Chattanooga

Chloe Wanink, Jr., G, Wofford


2017-18 Preseason Southern Conference Media Poll

Team (1st-Place Votes)               Total

  1. Mercer (9)                         100
  2. Chattanooga (4)                  94
  3. ETSU                                  67
  4. UNCG                                 65
  5. Furman                              56
  6. Samford                             35
  7. Wofford                              27
  8. Western Carolina                24

The Spartans open the 2017-18 season November 10th as they host the Southern Wesleyan Warriors in Fleming Gymnasium at 7 p.m.