The Youngstown State women's basketball team was picked to finish fourth, and two Penguins earned preseason all-league honors as the Horizon League announced its preseason poll on Thursday.
The Penguins were predicted to finish in the same spot as they ended last season, and they were one of two teams to receive a first-place vote in the poll of the league's coaches, women's basketball Athletics Communications contacts and media members. Redshirt senior Sarah Cash was named to the Horizon League Preseason First Team, and sophomore Chelsea Olson was named Preseason Second Team.
Green Bay received the other 28 first-place votes in the poll and was picked to finish first with 286 total points. IUPUI was tabbed to finish second with 245 votes, and Wright State was slotted third with 226 points. Youngstown State got one first place vote and was picked fourth with 184 points, followed by Milwaukee (165 points) and Northern Kentucky (152) in fifth in sixth. Oakland (117), Cleveland State (99), Detroit Mercy (65) and UIC (56) rounded out the poll.
Cash is a preseason first-team honoree for the second time in her career after earning the distinction in 2016-17. Cash averaged team highs of 11.6 points and 4.5 rebounds while also leading the squad with 85 free throws last season. Among returning players in the league from last season, she averaged the fifth-most points per game.
Cash enters her fifth season on pace to set the school record for career field-goal percentage at .571. She also ranks 19th in program history in career points (1,017), 18th in career field goals (392), 15th in free throws (219), seventh in blocks (81).
Olson earned a spot on the Horizon League All-Freshman Team in 2017-18, and her strong campaign allowed her to be one of just two sophomores on the preseason all-league teams. Olson was named the conference Freshman of the Week an unprecedented four straight weeks during league play last season. She averaged 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 37.5 percent from 3-point during Horizon League play.
IUPUI sophomore forward Macee Williams is the only returning player who was on the first or second teams last season, and she was voted the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year. She, Cash, Jen Wellnitz (Green Bay), Molly Glick (Northern Kentucky) and Emily Vogelphol (Wright State) comprised the preseason first team. Olson was joined on the second team by Tamya Sims (IUPUI), Taylor Jones (Oakland), Brittany Byrd (UIC) and Taylor Toney (UIC).
Youngstown State will begin the 2018-19 season on Tuesday, Nov. 6, as it hosts Robert Morris at 7 p.m. For season ticket information, call the YSU Athletic Ticket Office at (330) 941-1978.