FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Mary Washington was once again chosen as the preseason favorite in the 2018 CAC Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Eagles, who carry a 14-year CAC Championship streak into this spring, received seven first-place votes and 49 points to alnd atop the poll.
Christopher Newport, which finished in second place for the third year in a row last season, earned one first-place vote and 43 points to take second place in the rankings. Salisbury was selected third with 37 points, followed by York (29 points) and St. Mary's (24 points) as projected playoff teams in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Southern Virginia (21 points), Frostburg State (11 points), and Penn State Harrisburg (10 points) rounded out the eight CAC teams in the coaches' poll.
Most CAC teams have now opened up their spring campaigns, with CAC play set to begin in late March. The CAC Tournament will begin in late April, with the championship match slated for Friday, May 4.
2018 CAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll
Points (First-Place Votes)
|1.||Mary Washington||49 (7)|
|2.||Christopher Newport||43 (1)|
|8.||Penn State Harrisburg||10|
Below is a brief preview of each team entering the 2018 campaign:
After serving as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's teams since 2012, David Weiner enters his first year as the head coach of the CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT women in 2018. Weiner welcomes back all singles singles starters and five of six doubles starters from last spring to a team that advanced to the CAC title match for the third straight season. Returning All-CAC performers include McKinney Harwood, Johanna Ranta-aho, Kate Huck, Alexandra Drye, Claire Dockrill, Melli Konell, Isabelle Wessell, and Emily Morgan.
FROSTBURG STATE aecond-year head coach Aaron Wilf returns a talented core of players to his 2018 women's tennis roster and he's optimistic about the spring season. Sophomore Jenna Lipinksi collected three singles wins in four matches during the fall campaign and added another two victories in doubles action with classmate Kate Paylor. Last spring Lipinski led all female players with 10 singles wins, while sophomore Allison Paul emerged as one of the top doubles players in the CAC with a 9-3 record at No. 3. Lipinski and sophomore Sammi Turnercombined for seven wins in doubles play during their first season.
MARY WASHINGTON is bringing back a strong core in their quest for a 15th straight CAC championship. Leading the way for the Eagles is two-time CAC player of the year, Kait Brogan. The Eagles also return All-CAC performers Rachel Summers, Caroline Mosberg, Hannah Jabusch, Danielle Mirabella, and Ashley Barrow.
PENN STATE HARRISBURG welcomes back four returning players to the 2018 roster, including sophomore Sheila and Sheiva Ansary, Sydney Nye, and senior Maria Torre. The Lions begin their spring season on March 4.
ST. MARY'S will feature a small roster this spring of six girls but third year coach Tyler Robinson feels that all six are ready to compete. The team will be captained by seniors Chelsea Englishand Melissa Barall. Barall made the academic all-district team last year and will look to improve her already impressive resume. Fellow seniors Savannah Bergen and Raziela Manangan will also look to fill out the top six. Sophomore Claire Bodine and first year Alden Grosh are who rounds out the six and will look to help push their competition throughout the year.
SALISBURY returns nearly its entire roster from the 2017 season, with players back making up 83 percent of the singles matches played last year for the maroon and gold. Headlining the group will be sophomores Annika Kezman and Julia Kwedi, who combined to play all but one of the matches at the top two singles spots in 2017 going 23-8 overall and 9-3 in CAC play. Kezman earned All-CAC First-Team honors in 2017, while Kwedi was named to the Second Team for her efforts. The Sea Gulls expected strong performances from returners throughout the lineup, including senior Sage Cole and juniors Taylor Cooper and Shannon Hickman.
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA has several returning starters from the 2017 season. The returning starters from the 2017 season are Natalie Teets, Lauren Morrison, and Laura Elko. Both Morrison and Teets were named to the Capital Athletic Conference weekly honor roll.
YORK enters the spring with high expectations after completing the fall season with a perfect 6-0 record. The Spartans return four starters from last year's lineup, including No. 1 singles player Katie Wagner and No. 2 Rachel Wagner. Maisie Supp and Gina Liguori are also back in the starting lineup for the Spartans this spring.