@UTTylerWBB ranked No. 5 in DIII News preseason poll
UT Tyler head coach Kendra Hassell returns for her second season after leading the team to a 30-2 record and an Elite 8 appearance in her first season in Tyler.
UT Tyler head coach Kendra Hassell returns for her second season after leading the team to a 30-2 record and an Elite 8 appearance in her first season in Tyler.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The UT Tyler Patriots will enter the 2016-17 season ranked No. 5 by Women’s DIII News and senior Michelle Obach is one of 24 listed as a preseason all-American.

The Patriots are coming off their best season in program history where they went 30-2 and reached the NCAA DIII Elite 8. UT Tyler cruised to the American Southwest Conference championship with a 15-0 record and will enter this season with its entire team back from last year.

“This is a senior-heavy group that has ran our system for a year now,” UT Tyler head coach Kendra Hassell said. “We are adding some depth with our new players and I believe the team, as a whole, is hungry and highly motivated. I’m looking forward to watching them compete and seeing how they grow both individually and as a unit.”

Obach, a senior from Tyler, was named a WBCA All-American last season after leading the team with 18.0 points per game along with 71 steals and 114 assists (3.6 per), including scoring in double-digits 28 times and having four or more assists in 15 games. She will be playing in her third season at UT Tyler after playing at Merrimack College as a freshman and is the eighth leading scorer in program history with 893 career points.

Teammate Makenzi May returns as the ninth leading scorer in program history with 833 points and is second in UT Tyler history with 166 career 3-pointers. Obach has 108 3-pointers in her career entering this season. With May and Obach being joined by fellow seniors Re’Elle Miller, D’Onna Matthews, Dia Evans, Brittany Johnson, Madison Wilson, Shuntay Raglin and Adrienne Drake, the Patriots are a team that outscored opponents by a 18.1 scoring margin last season and have advanced to the NCAA tournament the past three years.

Thomas Moore is the top-ranked team in the DIII News preseason ranking with Scranton, Amherst and Tufts joining the Patriots in the top-5.

UT Tyler, which is 84-9 over the past three seasons, will open its season on Tuesday, Nov. 15 against Dallas Christian in Farmers Branch before travelling to California to play Redlands and Chapman (Nov. 18-19). The home opener is set for Wednesday, Nov. 23 against Howard Payne in an ASC Championship final rematch which will not count towards the conference standings. The Patriots are scheduled to host 14 games at the Herrington Patriot Center.