ST. LOUIS – The Drake University women’s basketball team is the favorite in the 2018-19 Missouri Valley Conference Preseason poll for the third-straight year, the league office announced Thursday morning. Drake, which has finished undefeated each of the past two MVC regular seasons and tournaments, has all five starters returning and its top nine scorers as it vies for a three-peat in 2018-19. 2018-19 MVC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll Rankings (Points) (First Place Votes) Junior Becca Hittner (Urbandale, Iowa), the 2017-18 Jackie Stiles MVC Player of the Year, is the 2018-19 MVC Preseason Player of the Year. Redshirt junior Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.), the 2017-18 MVC Sixth Player of the Year, is on the All-MVC Preseason First Team with Hittner. Hittner and Rhine are joined on the All-MVC Preseason First Team by Megan Maahs of UNI, Alexa Willard of Missouri State and Nicole Martin of Southern Illinois. Drake, 363 (35) UNI, 325 (4) Missouri State, 287 (1) Southern Illinois, 279 Illinois State, 223 Bradley, 193 Indiana State, 192 Valparaiso, 135 Loyola, 127 Evansville, 76Print Friendly Version Drake fans will have the opportunity to check out the 2018-19 team when it hosts Dubuque on Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. in its first exhibition contest at the Knapp Center.