Erskine is top preseason pick again
Flying Fleet have won six consecutive conference titles
|2||Queens (N.C.) (3)||70|
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Erskine was named to the top spot in the women’s tennis preseason poll for the sixth consecutive season, as voted on by league head coaches.
The Flying Fleet return five players from last season’s squad that went 17-8 overall, finished second in the conference regular-season standings and won the Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship for the sixth consecutive season. It also marked the team’s sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA regional tournament. Last season was the first time in five years that Erskine did not win the regular-season championship as Queens (N.C.) defeated the Fleet 5-4, handing Erskine just its second conference loss in five years (75-2).
Erskine returns their top five singles players that include three all-conference members. Tessa Rheault is the Fleet’s top returning player and the reigning Conference Carolinas Player of the Year. Team captain Britton Bignon is a three time all-conference honoree at the No. 2 singles spot, while sophomore Abby O’Reilly won the Conference Freshman of the Year Award last season playing in the No. 3 singles position. In addition, Victoria Stephens and Nikki Miller will be joined by three freshmen in Corin Hallman, Kathryn Sailors, and April Horne to give Coach Calhoun Parr perhaps his deepest squad in his 11-year tenure.
Queens finished the 2010 season with a 20-2 overall record and an 8-0 conference record to earn the Conference Carolinas regular-season title. After falling to Erskine in the conference tournament championship, the Royals avenged the loss by defeating the Flying Fleet in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual champion and Southeast Region rival Armstrong Atlantic State. Individually, first-team all-conference member Elena Mileva and freshman Christina Rustscheff will be looked on to anchor the first and second flights. The Royals also return all-conference third-teamer Morgan Roberts along with Erin Williams, who combined for a doubles record of 38-11 in 2010.
Lees-McRae College capped a solid 2010 campaign with a semifinal finish in the Conference Carolinas Tournament, falling to eventual champion Erskine College after earning the third seed with an 8-2 record against league opponents during the regular season. The Bobcats posted a 13-8 overall record on the season, as Christine Vanard was named to the all-conference first team.