Kellie Cole Rubel Named First-Team Preseason All-Big Sky Conference

By JOEL CARLSON for GoGRiz.com

Montana redshirt senior guard Kellie Cole Rubel was named first-team preseason All-Big Sky Conference Wednesday by College Sports Madness.

Cole Rubel was voted first-team All-Big Sky last season after averaging a team-high 14.1 points and leading the Lady Griz to a third-place conference finish. She is one of three returning starters for Montana, along with redshirt senior Carly Selvig and senior Maggie Rickman.

Joining Cole Rubel on College Sports Madness’s first team is a deep lineup of returning standouts.

Kellie Cole

Senior Guard, Kellie Cole Rubel. Photo by ©Austin Smith for Make itMissoula

Idaho senior guard Stacey Barr was the 2014 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and is one of four returning starters for the Vandals, who have made the last two NCAA tournaments.

Eastern Washington senior guard Lexie Nelson is a two-time first-team All-Big Sky selection, and North Dakota junior forward Mia Loyd, a second-team All-Big Sky pick last season, is the top returner for a UND team that shared last year’s regular-season title with Southern Utah and won the league tournament.

Northern Colorado senior center Stephanie Lee, second-team All-Big Sky last season after averaging 19.0 points per game, rounded out the preseason first team.

Making up the five-player second team were Eastern Washington junior guard Hayley Hodgins, Sacramento State senior guard Fantasia Hilliard, Portland State junior guard Emily Easom, Montana State junior forward Jasmine Hommes and Northern Arizona senior forward Erikka Banks.

Notably missing from the College Sports Madness first and second teams were Southern Utah senior guard Hailey Mandelko and Northern Colorado senior guard D’shara Strange.

Mandelko was first-team All-Big Sky last year as a junior, and Strange, who missed the 2013-14 season with a knee injury, was first-team All-Big Sky and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.

College Sports Madness named third-year North Dakota coach Travis Brewster its preseason Coach of the Year, Barr the Player of the Year and UND guard Bailey Strand the Freshman of the Year.

The Big Sky Conference preseason coaches’ poll will be released Wednesday, Oct. 22, and the Lady Griz will make their public debut Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the annual Maroon and Silver scrimmage.

Montana’s first of two exhibition games will be against Great Falls on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Montana Sports Information

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