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LEC announces 2014 Preseason Women’s Tennis Poll

Rhode Island College picked to win 2014 title; PSU fifth

            NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – For the first time in program history, Rhode Island College has been tabbed by the league's head coaches as the favorite in the 2014 Little East Conference Women's Tennis Preseason Poll. The Anchorwomen received seven first place votes to pull in a total of 71 points, capitalizing on last season's trip to the conference championship match.

            Second place in the poll went to two-time reigning league champions Bridgewater State, which picked up one first place vote and 52 points. UMass Dartmouth was selected third with 42 points after claiming the same spot in the league standings last season.

            Head coach Adam Spring will enter his third year at RIC with a very deep roster, returning every player from last season's 14-3 squad while welcoming four freshmen. The Anchorwomen went 7-1 in conference play in 2013, with their only LEC loss coming to eventual champion Bridgewater State. Junior Sadie Campanella will again hold down the No. 1 singles flight, hoping to continue the momentum from last season that saw her complete the year with a 7-2 record in her final nine matches. No. 2 singles will feature lone senior Chelsea Brown, who posted a 9-6 record at the flight last year and went undefeated in league doubles play with partner Tressa Cannata. Also returning at their respective flights are 2013 First Team All-Little East selections Julie Reddy and Noelle Tiberi.

            Bridgewater State has been a force to reckon with in the Little East in recent years, claiming the conference title the last two seasons and going undefeated in league play in 2013. The Bears did not drop a match until the first round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to Wilkes. Under second year head coach John Nestel, the Bears will look to fill the gap left by three-time Little East Player of the Year Jenna Williamson at No. 1 singles. Three seniors, Rachael Eramo, Melissa Flynn and Hayley Perron, look to provide a spark for BSU, along with junior Alison Vautrin, who posted a 7-1 mark at No. 4 singles in 2013.

            The UMass Dartmouth Corsairs, led by fourth-year head coach Doug Chapman, seek their first league title since 2008 and to improve upon a 10-4 overall record and 6-2 league mark. Graduate student Casey Auman will provide the anchor for UMD after recording a 5-0 league mark in singles matches in various flights last year. Auman's doubles partner, sophomore Rosalie Kimba, also returns as a key performer for the Corsairs.

            Wrapping up the projected order of finish in the preseason poll are Worcester State (41 points), Plymouth State (38), UMass Boston (37), Southern Maine (30), Salem State (22) and Western Connecticut (19).

            Conference play in Little East women's tennis will consist of each team meeting each other once during the regular season. The top six teams in the final regular season conference standings will participate in the 2014 Little East Women's Tennis Championship, with the top two seeds receiving first round byes and home court advantage in the semifinals. The Championship match is scheduled for October 25, with the winner receiving the conference's automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championship.

 

Little East Conference

2014 Women's Tennis Preseason Poll

 

Team

1st Place Votes

Total Points

1. Rhode Island College

        7

     71

2. Bridgewater State

        1

     52

3. UMass Dartmouth

 

     42

4. Worcester State

 

     41

5. Plymouth State

 

     38

6. UMass Boston

 

     37

7. Southern Maine

 

     30

8. Salem State

 

     22

9. Western Connecticut

 

     19

     
 

  (Courtesy of the Little East Conference)

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