The Lady Mountaineers joined the USA South Athletic Conference in 2017.

And they've made a big impact in the league in a relatively short amount of time.

Berea College has a combined record of 30-6 against conference opponents, while advancing to the title game of the USA South Women's Basketball Tournament twice.

The expectations are high once again for the Lady Mountaineers.

Berea College was picked to finish second in the USA South West Division in the league's preseason poll, which was released last week.

The Lady Mountaineers received one first-place vote and 56 total points.

Piedmont, which has won the last two USA South Tournament titles, was the preseason favorite to win the Western Division. The Lions got eight first-place votes and 64 total points.

Maryville (49) was third and Huntingdon (45) was picked fourth.

Mary Baldwin is the preseason favorite to win the USA South East Division. The Fighting Squirrels received three first-place votes and edged out Greensboro (56 points, four first-place votes) by just one point.

Averett was third and William Peace was fourth.

The 2020 USA South Women's Basketball Tournament will once again be conducted exclusively on campus sites. The top-six seeded teams from each division will advance to the tournament.

Berea graduated just two seniors from a team that posted a 22-6 record last season.

The Lady Mountaineers are set to return their top four scorers -- senior Briana Lanham (12.5 ppg), senior Bethanie Williams (11.7 ppg), sophomore Bailee Vanover (11.6 ppg) and senior Kristen Barnes (8.9 ppg) -- and their top three rebounders as well.

Berea fell to Peidmont College in the USA South Tournament title game last year, 74-67.

The Lady Mountaineers are set to open the 2019-2020 season on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Asbury University.

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