Here's a look at how the Frontier Conference team are doing each week:
1. No. 6 Lewis-Clark State College
Lewis-Clark State College is still the team to beat in women’s ball. While Eastern Oregon owns wins over the best in the Frontier Conference, LCSC still has 19-1 record in its last 20 Frontier games.
2. Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears
The road warriors have got off to a big start, winning games away from home and beating quality competition. Brooke Jones has come on for the Battlin’ Bears this season and could be the catalyst in Rocky’s big start.
3. No. 21 Carroll College Saints
Save a broken nose to Hannah Dean, and the Saints may have come in at No. 2 on this list. Carroll is scrapping in every game and the Saints are giving themselves chances to beat anybody.
4. No. 12 Montana Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have done a lot of good things this season, incorporating transfer guard Brianna King into the lineup and having a lot of success early. A hiccup on the road a few weeks back keeps the Bulldogs out of the top three this week.
5. No. 22 MSU-Northern Skylights
The Skylights have shown life without all-American Natalee Faupel will be different, but they’ve made some adjustments early this season. Peyton Filius has stepped up for her hometown team. She’ll need to keep that up to move the Skylights higher in these rankings.
6. University of Providence Argonauts
Senior guard Stephanie McDonagh gives the Argonauts a chance any night out, but the problem is Providence hasn’t had many nights out recently. Don’t be surprised if Providence hits a winning streak, but until then they’ll have to wait to move up.
7. Montana Tech Orediggers
Until the Orediggers retake the court, they’re in the basement in these rankings. Tech finished fourth in the Frontier a season ago, so it’s not farfetched to think the Orediggers will remain here long.
Here’s a look at what the Frontier is up to this week:
Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears
This week: Rocky finally gets home games, resuming conference play against two of the strongest teams in the conference, Lewis-Clark State College and Montana Western. Wins here could mean the Battlin’ Bears are the team to beat. First RMC has to handle last season's conference champ and NAIA championship runnerup in the Warriors and then gets another difficult test in Montana Western.
Recently: Rocky went into the Christmas break with a 9-1 record, including eight of those wins away from home. Rocky wasn’t the best at home last season, posting a 5-9 record in Billings (13-19 overall).
University of Providence Argonauts
This week: After a visit to Montana State-Northern, the Argonauts host Montana Tech on Thursday. The first road test could set up Great Falls with some momentum entering conference play, though Great Falls will have a chance to end the week at home against a Tech team that the Argos couldn’t defeat last season, going 0-3.
Recently: The Argonauts had a long layoff before resuming play after Christmas.
This week: Western hits the road two contests on the road against Carroll College and Rocky Mountain College. Western’s conference loss came on the road. Granted, it was against the top team in the conference. This week is a chance for the Bulldogs to prove they can be a top team on the road.
Recently: Western wrapped up nonconference play with games against Bethesda and La Sierra. The Bulldogs had a busy nonconference before Christmas, traveling and facing two California foes. Western showed then it could beat a ranked team on the road, so perhaps the Bulldogs can do what they did a year ago and come down to Helena and find a win.
Lewis-Clark State College
This week: The Warriors get back to conference play with a pair of road games, visiting Rocky Mountain College in Billings and Carroll College in Helena. A season ago, the Warriors took a lump from Carroll College in Helena, losing one of its two games all year in the capital city. With both teams ranked entering the game, it will has the making of another classic Frontier battle.
Recently: For whatever reason, the Warriors dropped two games against Eastern Oregon this season, but since then they’ve found ways to string together wins and return to their powerful form. A pair of lopsided wins against inferior competition during the nonconference slate will show if the Warriors sharpened their toolsets.
This week: Northern has a trip to Montana Tech after hosting Providence earlier in the week. Northern visits Butte and looks to win its first road game of the conference season. The Skylights opened up conference play back in December with two home games, where they went 1-1.
Recently: The Skylights had a few easy games against Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish before Christmas before a test against Our Lady of the Lake last week.
This week: The Orediggers host Montana State-Northern and takes a trip to Great Falls to face the University of Providence. The games give the Orediggers chances to make up lost ground in the Frontier.
Recently: Tech opened up the Frontier season with two losses. Tech was the only team to go 0-2 in the Frontier’s early start to to the season at the beginning of December. Tech went 1-2 against Northern a year ago (with two of those games coming in Butte) and 3-0 against Great Falls.
This week: The Saints host Western and Lewis-Clark State College, perhaps the two strongest teams in the Frontier. It’s the first time the Saints will get conference games at home this season. While Carroll was the lone Frontier team to defeat LCSC a season ago, the Warriors won the season series 2-1. The Saints fared worse against the Bulldogs a year ago, falling 0-3. The Saints will be eager to improve those marks this week.
Recently: The Saints kept their foot on the gas in the nonconference portion of their schedule during December. Carroll split two games in Hawaii, and then scheduled some tough games against Canadian competition.