The University of Akron women's basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2009-10 Mid-American Conference's East Division in a preseason poll released by the league office Wednesday morning.
The Zips return all five starters from a season ago under coach Jodi Kest.
UA junior forward Kara Murphy, the MAC’s leading scorer last season, was named to the All-MAC Preseason Team for the second consecutive season. Murphy averaged 19.3 points a game last season and became the youngest player in program history to score 1,000 career points.
Murphy’s 1,029 career points through two seasons ranks her 10th on the school's all-time scoring list. She set a UA single-season record with 580 points in 2008-09.
Murphy became the Zips second All-MAC First Team honoree last season.
The Zips return eight letter winners from last season, including starters Murphy, Ayla Guzzardo, Jolene Tamboue, Amber Witt and Kyle Baumgartner.
Defending MAC East champion Bowling Green was picked to repeat in 2009-10 with 22 first-place votes and Kent State (12) was tabbed to finish second.
The Falcons were also picked to win the MAC Tournament. Toledo (18) is the preseason favorite in the MAC West and Ball State (14) was picked second.
The preseason poll and all-conference teams were voted on by 24 members of the MAC’s media and league head coaches.
UA, which posted an 11-19 overall record and 6-10 mark in the MAC last season will host Ashland in an exhibition game on Nov. 7 at noon at Rhodes Arena. The Zips first regular season game is at home against IUPUI on Nov. 13 at noon.