NEW ORLEANS – Three Appalachian State University women’s basketball student-athletes landed on the All-Sun Belt Preseason Team, as the league office announced the preseason conference teams and preseason poll on Wednesday.
Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) and Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) both made the all-preseason second team, while Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) was named preseason all-third team. It’s the most App has had on an all-preseason conference team since joining in the league in 2014.
The trio joins nine other Mountaineers that return for what is poised to be a bounce-back season. App State is the only team in the league that returns 100 percent of its statistical production
Plummer is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign where she led the league and was 13th in the nation averaging 11.5 rebounds per game. She had the highest rebounding average for App since Shannon Thomas in 1990-91 (12.0 rpg) and the highest in the Sun Belt since Alysha Clark (Middle Tennessee; 2009-10; 11.6 rpg). The East Davidson, N.C., native’s 13 double-doubles were tied for first in the conference, including a monster performance of 15 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and five blocks in a 79-68 Sun Belt Tournament win over Arkansas State in the first round. She was one of two players in the conference to post a 20-rebound feat, when she grabbed 20 off the glass against UTA, which was tied for the ninth highest outing in App history. Following a 16-point, 18-rebound outing in a victory on the road at Marshall, Plummer was named to NCAA.com’s Starting Five, winning the fans’ vote on Twitter and joining Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M), Brooke McCarty (Texas), Teaira McCowan (Mississippi State), and Jessica Shepard (Notre Dame), which two of the players in the list competed in this season’s National Championship. Her stellar numbers gave her an All-Sun Belt Third Team nod.
Story is coming off a torn ACL her senior season. She was named first-team all-preseason heading into the 2017-18 campaign. In 2016-17, Story posted career numbers, leading the team in scoring (13.3 ppg), rebounding (6.9 rpg) and 3-pointers with 38, which all were personal bests. The redshirt senior was the only player in the conference to lead her team in all three categories. Her five double-doubles led all guard in the conference and was tied with four other players with seven 20-point games. She was one of five student-athletes to post a 30-point outburst, tying her career high with 31 points against North Carolina A&T (11/30/16). Because she improved her number across the board, Story was named to the all-third team.
Stanley’s freshman year was nothing short of productive, becoming the first freshman since 2009-10 (Ashlen Dewart: 11.2 ppg) to lead the team in scoring. She also led the team in steals (1.1 spg), free throw makes (93) and attempts (130). The Rockledge, Fla., native was one of the best freshmen in the Sun Belt, as she was second in the conference among freshmen and third in rebounding. Stanley was one of two freshmen to average at least 10 points and five rebounds. Her four 20-point performances were tied for the most among first-year players with fellow teammate Tierra Wilson and Savannah Jones. Her career high of 27 points helped down the Red Wolves in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament. Over the last eight games of the season, Stanley went on a torrid stretch where she turned in 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and shot 42.9 percent from the floor.
Appalachian will face Lees-McRae on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. in the lone exhibition of the preseason. It will travel to UAB on Nov. 9 to open the regular season.
App State was picked ninth in the Sun Belt with Little Rock favored to repeat this season. Troy (131 points), Texas State (97 points) and UTA (97 points) rounds out the top four.
2018-19 Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
first-place votes in parentheses
Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team
Ronjanae DeGray (Little Rock, Forward, Sr.)
Akasha Westbrook (Arkansas State, Guard, RS-Sr.)
Savannah Jones (South Alabama, Guard, RS-So.)
Toshua Leavitt (Texas State, Guard, Sr.)
Kayla Robinson (Troy, Guard, Jr.)
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team
Bayley Plummer (Appalachian State, Center, Jr.)
Madi Story (Appalachian State, Guard, RS-Sr.)
Naheria Hamilton (Coastal Carolina, Center, Jr.)
Sky’Lynn Holmes (Troy, Forward, Sr.)
Amber Rivers (Troy, Forward, Jr.)
Preseason All-Sun Belt Third Team
Arsula Clark (ULM, Guard, So.)
Lapresha Stanley (Appalachian State, Guard, So.)
Tori Lasker (Little Rock, Guard, So.)
Skyler Goodwin (Louisiana, Guard/Forward, So.)
Brooke Holle (Texas State, Guard, Jr.)
Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year
Ronjanae DeGray (Little Rock, Forward, Sr.)