HIGH POINT, N.C. - With four returning players, including three all-conference honorees, from last year’s record-setting squad, the Erskine College Flying Fleet are again poised to make another run at the conference title. The Fleet took the top spot in this year's preseason coaches poll. Pfeiffer University was selected fifth overall.
Last year the Fleet (23-4, 11-0) posted their second 20-win season under Head Coach Calhoun Parr and went undefeated in conference play. Erskine also recorded their first victory over a Top 10 team, topping #9 Clayton State, and earned their highest seeding to date in the NCAA regional tournament (#4).
Erskine returns three of their top four players, including their #1 singles and doubles player in junior Corin Hallman. Last season Hallman anchored the Fleet at the top spot going 19-7 in singles and 17-9 in doubles, including a perfect 11-0 in conference play, in route to earning her second 1st Team All-Conference Award. Sophomore Mika Goyette concluded her inaugural season on a 16 set win streak, winning the conference freshman of the year award, while posting a team-best 21-3 singles record, 10-0 in conference, and 21-6 in doubles. She also was voted 2nd Team All-Conference.
Queens University of Charlotte has been picked to finish second overall in the annual Conference Carolinas preseason coaches’ poll. The Royals women’s tennis team is looking to continue with their successes from last season were they finished 9-1 in the league and 15-4 overall, finishing second in the regular season standings and runner-up at the conference championships.
The Royals had a strong showing in the fall led by 2012 All-Conference first team member Christina Rustcheff and third team member Morgan Roberts. The Royals performed well in the Conference Carolinas Individual Tournament with Rustcheff winning the tournament’s A bracket and multiple other team members finishing in the top three of their brackets. The Royals look to build on recent successes and aim to take the Conference Carolinas title and advance to the NCAA Championships.
Mount Olive brings back three starters from last year’s record-setting squad, including the region’s seventh-ranked doubles team. After tying a school single-season wins record with 14 victories in 2011, the Trojans posted a 19-8 overall record in 2012 and won a share of the Conference Carolinas East Division with a 9-2 mark.
Sophomore Francesca Ceppi and senior Molly Sue Lentini enter the 2013 season ranked No. 7 in women’s doubles in the Southeast Region after reaching the quarterfinal round of the Group A Women’s Doubles at the ITA Fall Southeast Regional. The two players did not team up in doubles last year, but both reached double figures in wins, Lentini at No. 1 doubles and Ceppi at No. 3 doubles.
Rounding out the Coaches Preseason Poll 4-12 are: Limestone, Pfeiffer, Barton, Coker, Belmont Abbey, North Greenville, Converse, King, and Lees-McRae respectively.
CONFERENCE CAROLINAS WOMEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON COACHES POLL (First Place Votes)
1. Erskine - (10) 119
2. Queens - (1) 111
3. Mount Olive - (1) 97
4. Limestone - 88
5. Pfeiffer - 79
6. Barton - 62
7. Coker - 58
8. Belmont Abbey - 46
9. North Greenville - 40
10. Converse - 38
11. King - 33
12. Lees-McRae - 21