Thomasville, NC--Erskine College has maintained the top spot in the preseason poll as voted on by league head coaches for the third consecutive season. The Fleet have also earned their third consecutive preseason national ranking on the Division II ITA National Preseason Poll coming in at No. 32.
Erskine finished the 2007 campaign with a 21-5 record and finished the conference slate undefeated (13-0) for the third-straight season. Erskine has posted an overall conference record of 38-0 the past three seasons, and has won both the regular-season title and tournament championships in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 seasons.
Erskine returns a core of players including last year's player of the year, Jennifer Gennaoui, along with Conference Tournament MVP and second team All-Conference player Kacie Knox, and team MVP Jenna Tudor. These players will combine their efforts with three strong freshmen, Brandi Cordell, Britton Bignon, and Mary Claire Rollins as the Fleet look to win their fourth straight conference championship.
The Limestone College women's tennis team finished the 2006-07 season with a 21-9 overall record and a nearly perfect 9-1 league record to finish No. 2 in the conference standings for the second consecutive season. Limestone had another terrific run in the conference tournament as the women advanced to the championship match before falling to Erskine.
With first year head coach Keith Turner at the helm, the Saints return five players from last season's roster including All-Conference honorees Jennifer Snaider and Alexandra Gade, along with three newcomers. The Saints had a successful fall, competing at the ITA Regional and the Conference Carolinas Individual Tournament. Heading into the spring season, the Saints are ranked nationally at No. 36 in the Division II ITA National Preseason Poll.
Pfeiffer University places third in this year's preseason poll as voted on by league head coaches. The Falcons are coming off another stellar season where they finished third in the conference regular season and third in the conference tournament with an 8-2 league and 16-8 overall record. Just as impressive though, the team earned another ITA All-Academic team award last year. This was the seventh time in eight years they have achieved this honor.
Pfeiffer's David Smith is entering his first year as Falcon's Head Coach. He will look to last year's Freshman of the Year and All-Conference first team member Patty Dominguez to help lead the Falcons toward another successful campaign.
Rounding out the Coaches Preseason Poll 4-12 are: Anderson, Queens, Mount Olive, Coker, Lees-McRae, Barton, Converse, and St. Andrews respectively.
Conference Carolinas Pre-Season Coaches
(First place votes in parenthesis)
1. Erskine College (10) 99
2. Limestone College (1) 92
3. Pfeiffer University 70
4. Anderson University 62
5. Queens University of Charlotte 61
6. Mount Olive College 57
7. Coker College 53
8. Lees-McRae College 43
9. Barton College 36
10. Converse College 22
11. St. Andrews Presbyterian College 10