---Nicole Chiodi is one of three returning starters from last season’s 21-8 team for NKU. Chiodi dished out a team-leading 98 assists and averaged 6.9 points per game as a junior and is entering her third year as the Norse’s starting point guard.

INDIANAPOLIS - Bellarmine and Drury have been selected as the favorites to claim divisional titles in the Great Lakes Valley Conference women’s basketball preseason poll, the league office announced Thursday.

Bellarmine is the favorite in the GLVC East after totaling 33 points and four first-place votes. The Knights finished 19-11 overall, 11-8 in the GLVC last season.

Northern Kentucky University (21-8, 14-5 GLVC) finished second in the voting with 29 total points and one first-place vote, while Kentucky Wesleyan (18-10, 11-8 GLVC) collected 27 total points and one first-place vote to finish third in the poll.

Drury (25-9 last season) won the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region championship last March and welcomes back three starters. The Panthers received four first-place votes and 34 points to get the nod in the GLVC West.

NKU returns three starters from last season’s 21-8 team that advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Norse senior center Angela Healy averaged 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game last season and is the team’s top returning player. Healy was named to the All-GLVC second team as a junior.

NKU also returns senior point guard Nicole Chiodi (6.9 ppg, team-leading 98 assists) and junior post player Cassie Brannen (9.0 ppg, school-record 71 blocked shots). The Norse brought in an impressive group of newcomers, led by East Carolina transfer Jessie Slack.

NKU plays an exhibition game at Cincinnati on Nov. 1, and the Norse begin the regular season Nov. 15 with a home game against Brescia.

The NKU basketball teams will say farewell to Regents Hall on Feb. 16, when Indianapolis visits for a GLVC doubleheader. The Norse will move into their new on-campus home, The Bank of Kentucky Center, beginning in 2008-09.


2007-08 Great Lakes Valley Conference preseason poll

West Division
Team (First-place votes) Total Points

1. Drury (4) 34
2. SIU Edwardsville (3) 33
3. Southern Indiana 25
4. Missouri-Rolla 22
5. Quincy 16
6. Rockhurst 10
7. Missouri-St. Louis 7

East Division
Team (First-place votes) Total Points

1. Bellarmine (4) 33
2. Northern Kentucky (1) 29
3. Kentucky Wesleyan (1) 27
4. Indianapolis 21
5. Lewis (1) 18
6. UW-Parkside 12
7. Saint Joseph’s 7