(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – West Coast Conference coaches picked BYU to win the league race again in 2016, and named Nadia Gomes, Ashley Hatch, Elena Medeiros and Michele Vasconcelos to the All-WCC Preseason Team.
As released by the WCC on Thursday, the Cougars received eight out of 10 first-place votes from coaches. Jennifer Rockwood's club enters the season looking for its fifth-straight conference title.
Santa Clara was the only other team to receive first-place votes, as two coaches put the Broncos on top. Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and San Francisco rounded out the poll's top five teams.
Gomes, Hatch, Medeiros and Vasconcelos represent a third of the players named to the All-WCC Preason Team, and the most from any program.
After being named 2015 WCC Player of the Year, Gomes was named to the preseason all-conference team for the first time. She's also on the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy watch list after scoring nine goals and assisting on four others last year as a sophomore.
Hatch, a senior, received preseason All-WCC honors for the third time. She was named to the All-WCC Freshman Team in 2013, and was the WCC Co-Player of the Year the following season. Hatch comes into 2016 tied with assistant coach Aleisha Rose for 10th in career goals at BYU with 28.
It's the first time for Medeiros on the All-WCC Preseason Team, but the senior was named to the All-WCC Second Team after her sophomore year, and to the All-WCC First Team after her junior season. Medeiros scored eight goals last season, four of which were game-winners.
Vasconcelos received her third mention to the all-conference preseason squad. A fifth-year senior, Vasconcelos received All-WCC First Team honors in 2014 and 2015. She is tied for 15th in career goals at BYU (17) and ranked 14th in career assists (17).
For the conference's press release, visit wccsports.com.