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The New Jersey Athletic Conference released its women’s basketball preseason coaches poll Friday with The College of New Jersey taking the top spot with nine of the 10 first-place votes.

Montclair State, the defending conference tournament champion, received the other first-place vote.

Stockton University, which opens its 2018-19 season Saturday at Delaware Valley University, was picked to finish fifth under first-year head coach Devin Jefferson.

Last season, the Ospreys finished 18-9 (13-5 NJAC).

Jefferson took over for Joe Fussner, who retired in March after 26 seasons and 410 wins on the Ospreys’ bench. For the past five years, Jefferson served as the associate head coach at NCAA Division I Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Stockton lost standout Sasha Williams to graduation. Williams signed a one-year deal with Tirso Igualatorio, a professional team in Santander, Spain, in July.

Among the Ospreys’ key returning players are Hailey Porricelli and April Peterson. Porricelli averaged 6.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game last season. Peterson averaged 4.6 points and 5.1 rebounds.

The Ospreys add a pair of transfers from Rutgers-Camden — Kirsten Flournoy and Lajerah Wright, a graduate of Atlantic City High School.

The coaches’ dark horse pick as a team to watch in the NJAC was New Jersey City.

NJAC Preseason Poll

(first-place votes in parenteses)

1. The College of New Jersey (9)

2. Montclair State (1)

3. Rowan

4. William Paterson

5. Stockton

6. Kean

7. Ramapo

8. Rutgers-Camden

9. Rutgers-Newark

10. New Jersey City (dark horse)

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