Towson, Md. - The Catholic University of America women's basketball team has been selected No. 2 in the Landmark Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, as selected by the head coaches of the league.
The Cardinals received 58 points and one first-place vote, trailing the University of Scranton who earned 70 points and seven first place votes. Susquehanna University secured the No. 3 spot with 42 points while Moravian College finished fourth with 36 points.
Catholic returns 11 members of its 2015-16 Landmark runner-up squad.
Senior Michelle DeSantis, a back-to-back first-team all-conference selection, returns to the court to lead the Cards. Last season, DeSantis started all 27 games for the Cardinals. She led the team and was second in the league for in assists (143). DeSantis also shot a team-high 46.7% from the field tallying 307 points last season to along with 110 rebounds.
Also returning for Catholic is 2015-16 second team selection senior Melissa Errico, along with classmates Bridget Power and Bernadette Launi. Errico pulled down a team-high 184 rebounds and posted 325 points last season to pace the Cardinals.
Both Power and Launi appeared in 24 games for Catholic last season. Power was the 2015 Jamie Lynn Robers-Holiday Inn Classic MVP while Launi pulled down 270 rebounds and made 22 steals last year.
Catholic head coach Matt Donohue adds six rookies to the mix to help the Cardinals in their quest to reclaim the Landmark crown in 2016-17.
The Cardinals open their season on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at home in the Raymond A. DuFour Center versus St. Mary's College of Maryland. The season opener for both teams will be played in remembrance of former SMCM player and Catholic assistant coach, Jamie Roberts.
Landmark play opens on Saturday, Dec. 3, in Washington, D.C., as the Cardinals host the Drew University Rangers at 2 p.m. They wrap up their 2016-17 regular season campaign on the road at Moravian on Saturday, Dec. 18.