Virginia Wesleyan, Hollins, Roanoke Tight for Next Three Slots
FOREST, Va. --- Washington and Lee University
corralled 11 first place votes on the way to 121 points and the #1
position in the 2013 ODAC
Women's Tennis Preseason Poll. Virginia Wesleyan College picked
up the remaining top nod and 99 points to place second, but just
six points separate slots two-thru-four. Hollins University is third
with 95 tallies, and Roanoke
College chimes in fourth with 93 points.
Washington and Lee earned its 22nd ODAC championship in 27 seasons of competition, marking its 11th straight title in 2012. The Generals defeated Hollins University, 5-0, and earned the league's automatic bid to the Division III NCAA Tournament. W&L defeated Ohio Northern, 5-0, in the second round, but fell to Emory, 5-2, in the third round.
Washington and Lee (20-6 overall, 11-0 ODAC) will begin the 2013 campaign with a new face, as head coach Erin Ness looks to continue and improve upon the strong W&L women's tennis program. The Generals, ranked seventh in the country and third in the Atlantic South Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), welcome back several key components this year. Headlining the returnees is Sonja Meighan, who earned All-America laurels and was named the 2012 Atlantic South Region Rookie of the Year. Meighan was also tabbed the ODAC Player of the Year and ODAC Rookie of the Year, while collecting First Team All-ODAC honors in singles and doubles (8-3 at #1 singles, 7-0 at #3 doubles with Meghan Buell). Other first team choices include Patricia Kirkland (9-2 at #3-s), Allison Hupalo (10-1 at #5-s), and Sallie Griffin (6-1 at #6-s). Kirkland also teamed up with Cameron Dorsey to collect first team honors at No. 2 doubles after posting a 7-1 mark.
The Generals had a solid fall showing at the ITA Southeast Regional Singles Championship. Buell was named the 2012 ITA Southeast Regional Singles Champion after topping Elizabeth Martin of Carnegie Mellon, 7-6, 6-4. Buell is currently second on the Atlantic South Region singles chart. She's joined by Claire Cahill (11th), Hupalo (14th), Mary Elizabeth Shutley (16th), and Meighan (17th). In doubles play, Buell joins Cahill as the second-rated tandem. Kirkland and Meighan are ninth, while Griffin and Hupalo are 15th.
Virginia Wesleyan (3-15, 2-8) enters the 2013 season with the highest preseason poll ranking since the 2008 campaign. The Marlins return one senior in Stephanie Bittner (6-10 s, 8-10 doubles) and one sophomore in Hannah Rice (4-11 s, 10-8 d). Bittner had a solid showing in the fall as she defeated Sweet Briar's Mary Elise Dugan, 9-7, for the consolation crown. Seven newcomers look to add a spark this year to VWC's lineup and they have already done so this past fall in the ITA Southeast Regional with first year Mia Proctor winning the B3 flight championship.
Hollins University (14-5, 8-2) will be under new leadership this year as Brian Kastner takes over the squad. He welcomes back several all-conference players, including Karen Montoya who garnered first-team recognition in singles and doubles action. Montoya posted a 14-0 mark at the No.1 singles position and then teamed up with her sister Priscila Montoya at No. 1 doubles. The duo went 10-3 in doubles action. Also back for Hollins is Victoria Coffee, who earned Second Team All-ODAC honors at #2 singles with a 12-4 record. Coffee and Sarah Grace McCormick return to the court together after posting a 14-3 overall mark en route to garnering second team accolades at No. 2 doubles.
Roanoke College (12-7, 7-3) returns several experienced all-conference players this spring. Three Maroons earned Second Team All-ODAC laurels a season ago. Laura Dodson collected honors at the No. 1 singles spot after notching a 12-5 overall record, while classmate Corbin Leitch (12-6 at #2-s), and Jennifer Antoszyk (13-2 at #3-s) earned recognition at their respective positions. Dodson and Leitch recorded a 13-5 overall mark in doubles action towards second team honors.
Bridgewater College (12-5, 9-1) will be without its only first team honoree in Katy Bergey, but plenty returns for the Eagles. Olivia Stone notched a 9-4 overall record to capture second team honors at No. 5 singles, while Katie Gordon teamed up with Bergey to earn second team recognition at No. 1 doubles (12-5). Gordon also collected third team singles accolades (8-6 #1-s), while Brittany Wilson posted a 7-6 overall record at No. 3 singles towards a third team spot.
(9-9, 6-4) and Randolph
College (7-9, 4-6) both welcome back all-conference players and
look to continue strides to the top of the conference. GC's
Kim Kleimeier and Natalie Sutton teamed up and posted a 8-7 overall
record at No. 1 doubles en route to earning third team honors,
while Haley Andrews and Allison Hewitt registered a 10-8 overall
mark at No. 2 doubles for third team laurels. The WildCats
are spearheaded by a second team pick in Patricia Verdezoto (12-3
at 1-s), but also welcome back six sophomores that will be poised
for a competitive season.
Randolph-Macon College (5-12, 3-7) and Emory & Henry College (5-12, 2-8) both return a wealth of experience. The Yellow Jackets' will have a new mentor this year as head coach Bruce Myers welcomes back four seniors to Ashland, including Chelsea Jones and Reba Sledd. Jones posted a 7-8 overall record in singles action and also teamed up with classmate Sledd to record a 5-10 mark in doubles play. Sledd notched a 3-10 overall mark in singles. The Wasps' are led by Alyssa Wingate, who recorded an 11-5 overall record at No. 1 singles. Casey Blackburn and Sheyenne Cleveland will also add punch as they each notched five wins in singles play.
New to the ODAC this season is Shenandoah University (8-9, 4-5 USA South). Shenandoah, Lynchburg College (5-10, 3-8), and Sweet Briar College (3-11, 1-9) will all look to climb the ODAC ladder. SU welcomes back a USA South All-Honorable Mention pick in Shannon Allin. Allin was 9-7 overall in both singles and doubles at the No.2 singles spot and No. 1 doubles position. LC, under the direction of interim head coach Nasim Moadab, will turn to its three juniors and three sophomores to lead the way this spring. Kelsey Bergen spearheads the returnees after recording a 6-8 overall record at No. 1 singles and a 5-10 overall record in doubles play. SBC looks to the senior leadership of Sarah Manter after she went 3-10 at No. 1 singles and posted a 3-9 overall record in doubles play last year.
Listed below is the full 2013 ODAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll. For more information on ODAC women's tennis, visit any of the participating school's websites, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook. You can also follow the ODAC on Twitter @odacathletics.
2013 ODAC WOMEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes first place votes
|1. Washington and Lee (11)||121 pts.|
|2. Virginia Wesleyan (1)||99 pts.|
|3. Hollins||95 pts.|
|4. Roanoke||93 pts.|
|5. Bridgewater||85 pts.|
|6. Guilford||72 pts.|
|7. Randolph||59 pts.|
|8. Randolph-Macon||47 pts.|
|9. Emory & Henry||36 pts.|
|10. Shenandoah||31 pts.|
|11. Lynchburg||28 pts.|
|12. Sweet Briar||26 pts.|