IRVING, Texas – East Carolina University’s Frances Kimel and Alexandra Giacolone have been named to the American Athletic Conference’s 16-player Preseason All-Conference squad, the league announced Tuesday.

Kimel, a senior out of Durham, N.C., was one of 10 unanimous selections to the team. Kimel enters 2023 following a Second-Team All-AAC season in 2022. She led the Pirates with 59 points a year ago on 27 goals and 32 assists. Both her 59 points and 32 assists were program single-season records while her 27 goals is the fifth-best output in program history. Kimel put up three-or-more points 12 times on the season while also collecting 18 ground balls on the year.

Kimel was joined on the Preseason All-Conference team by Giacolone who enters her junior season on the Pirate defense earning Second Team All-AAC honors a year ago. The Manorville, N.Y. native led the team with 39 ground balls and 24 caused turnovers in 2022 while finishing second in the league in ground balls (2.29) and fifth in caused turnovers (1.41) per game. Giacolone’s 24 caused turnovers were a program record while her 39 ground balls were the second most in a season in program history.

Even as the league expands to seven teams with the addition of James Madison, the Pirates were picked to finish fifth in the AAC Coaches’ Preseason Poll for the second year in a row. Florida was unanimously selected to win the league while Dukes earned a single first place vote in their first year in the league. Vanderbilt and Temple both barely beat out the Pirates in third and fourth in the standings. Cincinnati was picked sixth and Old Dominion seventh.

The Pirates are set to open the season on Feb. 10 at home against the Radford Highlanders.