KANSAS CITY, Mo. - 10/24/2011 - The Union (Tenn.) University basketball teams both find themselves in familiar territory as they are named in the NAIA’s Preseason Top-25 Ranking. The Union women’s team is preseason No. 2, which means their NAIA record 48 straight polls as the No. 1 team has come to an end. Union’s men are ranked No. 22 in the poll, after finishing last season as the No. 12 ranked team.
Union’s women return just one starter from last season with five returning players overall. Senior Lavanda Ross, the lone returning starter, was an All-American last season. Union head coach Mark Campbell has seven newcomers to the program that will be called on to step in and contribute from the start. Campbell is also sitting on career win number 399 and looks to get No. 400 when the Lady Bulldogs open their season November 1 at home versus Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) at 6 p.m. Union finished as TranSouth Regular Season and Tournament Champions in 2011, while falling just short of a third straight NAIA National Title. Union has played in three straight NAIA title games and seven straight NAIA semifinal rounds.
The Union men are also looking at a large group of newcomers to the program. Nine new faces join the squad this season to go along with the three returners. Two of the returners, Skyler Vaden and Antoine Hall, started last season. The Bulldogs finished as TranSouth regular season co-champions, before losing in the conference tournament. Union advanced to their 14th NAIA National Tournament. Union’s men open their season on the road, Oct. 31 at Central Baptist (Ark.) and then play at home Saturday, November 5 for Homecoming.
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