LAKELAND, Fla.—The Fire women’s basketball team is the overwhelming favorite among The Sun Conference coaches.

All nine voted Southeastern first in the annual preseason coaches’ poll. It marks the third consecutive year the Fire have been ranked at the top of the conference’s inaugural ranking of the season.

Southeastern has won the last three Sun Conference regular season and tournament championships, and has been to the NAIA Division II National Tournament in each of the last four seasons.

The Fire return four starters from last year’s team that posted a 31-1 record and advanced to the national quarterfinals. Jayce Coe and Emma Karamovic each averaged double figures last season at 15.2 and 11.3 points per game, respectively. Marlena Schmidt was among the nation’s top post players, averaging 7.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and three blocks per contest. Halee Printz was fifth nationally in assists per game at 5.7.

St. Thomas finished second in the preseason poll, followed by Coastal Georgia and Florida Memorial.

Southeastern begins its 2018-19 season on November 2 in Richmond, Ind. against Indiana University East.