Pioneers Picked to Prevail In MCAC Northern Division

Despite losing All-America Brooke Heggie to graduation (now playing at Montana Tech), MCAC North Coaches tab Northland the team to beat this season.
Despite losing All-America Brooke Heggie to graduation (now playing at Montana Tech), MCAC North Coaches tab Northland the team to beat this season.

Winona, MN- 

(image courtesy of NCTC Athletics)

The women's basketball head coaches from the Northern Division of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference selected the Northland Community and Technical College Pioneers as the top squad in their pre-season coaches poll released today.

The Pioneers and head coach Shannon Nelson picked up eight of a possible nine first-place votes, with Hibbing Community College earning a first-place pick as well.  While perennial power Northland provides some consistency in this year's poll, many new faces present themselves in what should shape up to be an interesting 2019-20 MCAC Northern Division campaign.

Three women have been selected to lead MCAC women's basketball programs in 2019-20; Nicki Kosik (Vermilion), Kasey Palmer (Hibbing) and Amber Smith (Itasca) take over their programs in 2019-20.  Four more mentors are just in their second season in the MCAC North; Brian Voigt (Central Lakes), Brad Matuzak (Mesabi Range), Robert Smith (FDLTCC) and Adam Johnson (Lake Superior)Johnson and the LSC Icehawks rolled out the first women's basketball team in school history last winter and Lake Superior will look to build on a successful first season this year. 

Rainy River Community College head coach Dieter Humbert heads into his 27th season in International Falls, where the long-time Voyeguer mentor has earned a 315-250 overall record. Humbert's 2018-19 squad featured an explosive offense led by NJCAA All-America Daeja Monroe, who now suits up for Jarvis Christian University and Davane Gross who plays for Iowa Wesleyan. 

Also moving on from the MCAC to four-year college success from last season was Northland's Brooke Heggie; the Honorable Mention All-America now plays for Montana Tech, where she is averaging 20 minutes a contest for the 3-1 MTU squad.

Keep an eye out for MCAC Men's and Women's Basketball 2019-20 Season Previews available later this week, as well as coaches polls in the other three MCAC Divisions. 

2019-20 MCAC Women's Basketball Coaches Poll 

Northern Division 

#1) Northland Community & Technical College (8)

#2) Hibbing Community College (1) 

#3) Rainy River Community College

#4) Central Lakes College 

#5) Lake Superior College

#6) Mesabi Range College 

#7) Itasca Community College

#8) Vermilion Community College 

#9) Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College 


The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, as well as select member colleges in North Dakota and Wisconsin.  The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions.  The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.

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