Erskine Tops Women's Tennis Poll: Lees-McRae Picked Fourth

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Erskine College has maintained the top spot in the preseason poll as voted on by league head coaches for the fourth consecutive season. The Fleet also earned their fourth consecutive preseason national ranking in the Division II ITA National Preseason Poll coming in at No. 28.


Erskine finished the 2008 campaign with a 20-4 record and finished the conference slate undefeated (10-0) for the fourth-straight season. Erskine has posted an overall conference record of 51-0 the past three seasons, and has won both the regular-season title and tournament championships in the 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 seasons.

Erskine returns a core of players including Kacie Knox, Britton Bignon, and Mary-Claire Rollins. These players will combine their efforts with four strong freshmen, Cera Falls, Nicole Miller, Tessa Rhealt, and Jordan Smith as the Fleet look to win their fifth straight conference championship.

The Limestone College places second in this year's preseason poll. The Lady Saints tennis team is eager to start the 2009 season after finishing second in the conference tournament and posting a 16-8 overall record (9-1 league) last season. The Lady Saints return four letter winners and two returning starters and All-Conference honorees Eve Aubry and Jen Snaider. The team also has six newcomers who will look to make an impact.

The Lady Saints had a strong 2008 fall season. The Lady Saints are currently ranked No. 9 in the Southeast Region.

Mount Olive places third in this year's preseason poll as voted on by league head coaches. Mount Olive returns four starters from last year's squad, including two-time All-Conference Carolinas selection Carol Aro and 2008 All- Conference player Sofia Medeiros. The Trojans finished fourth in last year's regular season standings with a 7-3 conference mark after winning four of their final five conference matches. A late-season injury hindered Mount Olive during the 2008 Conference Carolinas Tournament, but the Trojans are expected to be back at full strength for 2009.

Rounding out the Coaches Preseason Poll 4-10 are: Lees-McRae, Pfeiffer, Coker, Anderson, Queens, Barton and Converse respectively.

Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches Poll
(First place votes in parenthesis)
1. Erskine College (8) 80
2. Limestone College (2) 71
3. Mount Olive College 58
4. Lees-McRae College 52
5. Pfeiffer University 50
6. Coker College 37
7. Anderson University 36
8. Queens University of Charlotte 30
9. Barton College 25
10. Converse College 11