The Gonzaga women haven’t played a game yet, but they made some history Tuesday with a No. 21 ranking in The Associated Press preseason poll.
It’s the Zags’ highest preseason ranking in program history. They opened at No. 25 in the first poll of the 2013-14 season.
Some Zags fans might have expected to start higher, considering GU finished last season at No. 13 and returns all but two players from a squad that went 28-3 last year and won the West Coast Conference regular-season title by four games.
GU will have a chance to prove itself at the end of the month, when its faces top-ranked South Carolina on Nov. 30 in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In that same event, the Zags will play Summit Conference champion South Dakota, which picked up 21 votes to finish just out of the rankings.
The rest of GU’s nonconference schedule has yet to be announced. The Zags open WCC action Dec. 28 at Loyola Marymount.
At this point, the first home game is Jan. 2 against Saint Mary’s. Gonzaga is the only WCC team to make the rankings or receive votes.
GU received 137 votes overall to finish behind Ohio State and ahead of Notre Dame, the 2018 national champion.
The top 10 teams in the AP poll are South Carolina, Stanford, Connecticut, Baylor, Louisville, Mississippi State, Arizona, North Carolina State, UCLA and Oregon.
The original schedule had Gonzaga facing No. 7 Arizona, but that game was canceled because of rescheduling forced by COVID-19. GU also was expected to host Stanford; that game was also scrapped by the pandemic.
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