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Early voting

Early voting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the second time in program history, the Belmont women's basketball team received votes in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 Poll.

The Bruins, who are coming off their best season in the program's Division I era, garnered a pair of No. 25 votes to check in with two points overall. The AP Top 25 Poll, which released its first round of voting earlier this week, is made up of voting media members from around the country. A new poll will be released each week throughout the season.

Belmont last appeared in the AP's preseason poll ahead of the 2016-17 season when they landed four total votes.

Two of Belmont's opponents this year showed up in the AP's poll, including No. 17 North Carolina State. The Bruins travel to Raleigh, N.C., for the season opener next Wednesday, Nov. 7. The other future ranked opponent was No. 11 Tennessee (Dec. 30). 

Belmont's poll preseason appearance follows a 31-4 season in 2017-18 that landed the Bruins the first ever ranking in school history. BU broke into the AP's top 25 on Feb. 12 at No. 23, climbing as high as No. 22 two weeks later on Feb. 26. It was the first ranking by an Ohio Valley Conference team in more than 25 years (Tennessee Tech, 1992).

The Bruins also drew a ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll last year, reaching No. 25 on March 5. The 2018-19 preseason USA Today Coaches Poll was also released this week, but it did not feature any votes for Belmont.

The Bruins' 31 wins a year ago marked the most ever by an OVC team as Belmont swept its conference slate for a second consecutive season by going 18-0. Belmont won the OVC Tournament for a third straight year as well to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. With a program-best No. 12 seed, Belmont saw its single-season record 22-game win streak snapped by Duke in the NCAA's first round.

In other preseason accolades, Belmont has been picked to win the OVC by the league's head coaches and sports information directors, with senior guard Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.) selected as Preseason Player of the Year.