Conference play, in which a 14-game gauntlet determines the Ivy League crown, remains a distant prospect. However, the Ancient Eight sides have been proving themselves in their early seasons. Princeton and Penn tied for top billing in the preseason media poll, but the former has shone brighter.
- Princeton (7-0): The Tigers have done more than enough to justify their No. 1 preseason ranking. Shooting has been precise, with Princeton’s 45.7 field goal percent and 39.4 three-point attempt both topping the Ivy League. Senior guard Blake Dietrick looks to lead her team back to the top of the conference after a first-team all-Ivy performance last season.
- Penn (3-1): Guard Alyssa Baron, last season’s Player of the Year, was dynamic for the Quakers, averaging 14.9 points per contest. Despite her graduation, Penn should be fine behind second-year center Sydney Stipanovich. Reigning Rookie of the Year, the Missouri-native dominated the interior last season.
- Harvard (3-3): Tied for second place in last year’s standings, the Crimson returns with a tall and experienced lineup. Junior forward Temi Fagbenle earned first-team all-Ivy honors for her average 13-point per game 2013-14 campaign.
- Yale (1-4): Last season, the Bulldogs earned both available wins against every team below them on this list while being swept by the above three sides. Guard Sarah Halejian, Yale’s lone returning senior, was a masterful facilitator last year, averaging a league-high 3.6 assists per contest through 29 games.
- Dartmouth (4-0): The Big Green picked up only two conference wins last season, outscored by an embarrassing margin of 14.8. Sophomore wing Fanni Szabo has been the offensive centerpiece on this resurgent squad, scoring a league-high 21.0 points per game in this young season.
- Cornell (3-3): Forward Allyson DiMagno was the Big Red’s lone all-Ivy selection last season. Her graduation will leave a sizeable hole in Cornell’s lineup. Sophomore forward Nia Marshall currently ranks 11thin the Ivy League in points per game with 12.7. She and fellow forward Nicholle Aston will provide a strong rebounding tandem in their second seasons.
- Columbia (3-4): The Lions have shown early season grit, winning back-to-back overtime contests over Thanksgiving break. Despite graduating a pair of starters in guard Taylor Ward and forward Courtney Bradford, Columbia brings back its two top scorers. Sophomore guard Oliver Tori will line up alongside senior Miwa Tachibana in what promises to be a strong backcourt.
- Brown (1-5): Undertaking their first season under head coach Sarah Behn, the Bears should not anticipate much success. The offense will look to facilitate senior guard Sophie Bikofsky, who shot an obscene 48.6 percent from beyond the arc last season.