The Gonzaga women – the program as well as this year’s team – earned some more national respect.
The final Associated Press poll of the season, released Monday, pushed the Zags up two more spots to 14th after they won the West Coast Conference tournament last week.
That’s the second-highest final ranking in program history, behind last year’s No. 13, and just ahead of the No. 15 ranking at the end of the 2018-19 year.
Perhaps more impressively, this is the first season in which GU has been ranked from beginning to end.
The Zags opened the year at 21st, then fell to 25th after a 1-2 start. However, they’ve climbed steadily since then.
GU, ranked 16th in mid-February, fell five spots after a loss at BYU before regaining that ground – and then some.
Gonzaga moved up in the final poll at the expense of Arkansas, which remained 15th; and Michigan, which fell from 13th to 16th.
Prior to 2019, Gonzaga had never been higher than 15th at point in the season. The 2009-10 squad made it to before reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
A year later, Courtney Vandersloot led the Zags to the Elite Eight, but that team never ranked higher than 20th.
Gonzaga hit its highest AP ranking of 11th on two occasions last year, before a regular-season loss at Saint Mary’s and against Portland in the WCC Tournament.
Going into Selection Monday, the Zags were ranked 16th in the NCAA Evaluation Tool, or NET, which is the primary tool for selection and seeding for the NCAA Tournament.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.