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Pitt Women's Basketball Attends First ACC Media Day




Oct. 23, 2013

GREENSBORO, N.C.  - Pitt was selected to finish 15th in the 2013-14 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball preseason poll, it was released on Wednesday at the league’s annual media day at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center.

The Panthers were tabbed to the same spot in both the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel and its head coaches poll. The 2013-14 campaign marks the first in the ACC for Pitt.

“We know we will be competing in the best women’s basketball conference in the country and we aware we have to earn respect,” said first-year head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, one of only three Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coaches in the ACC. “This team is improving on a daily basis and we are excited to get the season underway.”

McConnell-Serio, along with junior point Brianna Kiesel represented the Panthers at the annual fete. Pitt is one of three new schools to join the league this season, along with Notre Dame and Syracuse.

Defending ACC champion Duke was named the preseason favorite in both polls. Notre Dame received 14 first-place votes and placed second in the voting with Maryland (three first-place votes) and North Carolina (one first-place vote) coming in third and fourth, respectively.

Florida State and Georgia Tech tied for fifth in the Blue Ribbon Panel balloting, while Syracuse was seventh, Virginia eighth and Miami ninth. NC State (10th), Boston College (11th), Wake Forest (12th), Virginia Tech (13th) and Clemson (14th) rounded out the poll.Pitt returns five starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s squad. Kiesel was a Big East Honorable Mention selection last year, having led the squad in points (14.9 ppg) and assists (3.0 apg) and minutes per game (36.5 mpg).

Pitt opens its season with an exhibition game against California PA on Sunday, Nov. 3 at the Petersen Events Center. Regular season play tips on Friday, Nov. 8 versus Bucknell at 11 a.m. That contest marks the team’s annual School Day promotion.

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Poll
1. Duke (843 points, 39 first-place votes)
2. Notre Dame (794 points, 14 first-place votes)
3. Maryland (745 points, 3 first-place votes)
4. North Carolina (715 points, 1 first-place vote)
T5. Georgia Tech (527 points)
T5. Florida State (527 points)
7. Syracuse (517 points)
8. Virginia (470 points)
9. Miami (419 points)
10. NC State (363 points)
11. Boston College (304 points)
12. Wake Forest (263 points)
13. Virginia Tech (213 points)
14. Clemson (159 points)
15. Pittsburgh (102 points)

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team
Chelsea Gray, Sr., G, Duke
Tricia Liston, Sr., G,  Duke
Elizabeth Williams, Jr., F/C, Duke
Tyaunna Marshall, Sr.,  G, Georgia Tech
Alyssa Thomas, Sr., F,  Maryland
Natalie Achonwa, Sr., F, Notre Dame
Kayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Xylina McDaniel, So., F, North Carolina
Ataira Franklin, Sr., G, Virginia
Chelsea Douglas, Sr., G, Wake Forest

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List
Oderah Chidom, Fr., F, Duke
Kendall McCravey-Cooper, Fr., F/C, Duke
Kaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia Tech
Lexie Brown, Fr., G, Maryland
Diamond DeShields, Fr., G,  North Carolina
Taya Reimer, Fr.  F, Notre Dame
**an extra member was added to the team due to a tie in voting

ACC Coaches Preseason Poll
1.  Duke (220 points, 10 first place votes)
2. Notre Dame (211 points, 5 first place votes)
3. Maryland (195 points)
4.  North Carolina (182 points)
5.  Georgia Tech (146 points)
6.  Florida State (137 points)
7. Syracuse (133 points)
8.  Virginia (128 points)
9.  Miami (103 points)
10. NC State (90 points)
11. Boston College (75 points)
12. Wake Forest (68 points)
13. Virginia Tech (58 points)
14. Clemson (34 points)
15. Pittsburgh (20 points)

Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team
Chelsea Gray, Sr., G, Duke
Tricia Liston, Sr., G, Duke
Elizabeth Williams, Jr.,  F/C, Duke
Tyaunna Marshall, Sr., G, Georgia Tech
Alyssa Thomas, Sr., F, Maryland
Jewell Loyd, So., G, Notre Dame
Kayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Diamond DeShields, Fr., G, North Carolina
Xylina McDaniel, So., F, North Carolina
Ataira Franklin, Sr., G, Virginia

Coaches Preseason Player of the Year
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland

Coaches Newcomer Watch List
Oderah Chidom, Fr., F, Duke
Morgan Jones, Fr. G, Florida State
Kaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia Tech
Diamond DeShields, Fr., G North Carolina
Taya Reimer, Fr., F, Notre Dame