ODAC Pre-Season Women's Tennis Poll Released

ODAC Pre-Season  Women's Tennis Poll Released

Generals Selected Atop ODAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll

Roanoke, Bridgewater Round Out Top Three

FOREST, Va. --- Washington and Lee University collected 11 first place votes on the way to 121 total points to top the 2014 ODAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll.  Roanoke College holds down the second spot after receiving 98 tallies, and Bridgewater College slots third with 90 points and the remaining top nod in the annual survey of the league's head coaches.

The Generals proved victorious for the 11th straight and 23rd overall time in the 2013 ODAC Tournament, defeating Roanoke (5-0) in the title game.  W&L represented the ODAC in the NCAA Division III team, singles and doubles tournaments.  The squad traveled to Emory University to square off against regional competition.  The Generals defeated Methodist University (5-0) in the first round, but fell to Sewanee, 5-4, in the second round.

The singles and doubles draws were competed at Kalamazoo College, the host site for all the national championship matches.  Sonja Meighan and Meghan Buell both competed in the singles section.  Meighan advanced to the round of 32 before falling to Jordan Brewster from Amherst College.  Buell extended her stay by one match, reaching the round of 16 before bowing out to Kristin Lim from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.  In doubles action, Patricia Kirkland and Meighan defeated opponents from Whitman College and Williams College to reach the semifinals.  There the Generals duo was stopped by the pairing of Lim and Caroline Ward from C-M-S.

Two ODAC squads enter the 2014 spring campaign ranked in the ITA South Atlantic Region.  Washington and Lee holds down the sixth position, while also attaining a #22 national ranking.  Roanoke is slotted 19th in the regional poll.  After placing second at the ITA Small College Championships in the fall, Meighan enters the spring ranked #2 in the region, while Buell sits in the 17th position.  The doubles team of Kirkland and Meighan opens as the top-ranked tandem, while Buell and Chelsea Mixson hold down the 10th position.

Washington and Lee (19-8 overall, 11-0 in the ODAC last spring) welcomes back six all-conference standouts, each from the All-ODAC First Team.  Meighan (12-3 overall, 12-3 at #1), Buell (11-3, 9-3 at #2), Kirkland (7-1, 5-1 at #3) and Mixson (9-5, 3-4 at #6) earned recognition as singles players (#1, #2, #3 and #6, respectively).  Kirkland and Meighan (12-3, 9-3 at #1), Buell and Cameron Dorsey (8-1, 7-1 at #2), and captains Claire Cahill and Mixson (7-5, 2-5 at #3) formed the first team doubles honorees at each of the three ladder positions, sequentially.  Meighan won the ITA Southeast Regional singles title this fall, while she and Kirkland combined to win the doubles crown.

Roanoke's (14-4, 10-1) new coach, Daniel Ragsdale, welcomes back several all-conference returners, including first team #1 singles player Jennifer Antoszyk (7-1, 7-1 at #1) this season.  She also claimed a spot on the All-ODAC Second Team as one part of RC's #1 doubles team (4-4, 4-4 at #1).  Antoszyk is joined on the second team by #4 and #5 singles players Briell Smith (11-3, 4-2 at #4) and Kristen McDowell (10-2, 2-1 at #5).  McDowell and fellow returnee Brianna Carroll (6-3, 6-3 at #3) secured All-ODAC Third Team accolades at #3 doubles.  Kaitlyn Diskerud (9-4, 4-2 at #6) also earned third team laurels at #6 singles.

Bridgewater (15-5, 8-3) is under new direction as Sam Varner takes over the reins as interim head coach.  The Eagles will look to Katie Gordon to lead the way in 2014.  She earned second team honors at #1 singles (17-2, 17-2 at #1), and teamed with Marla O'Bryan (9-2, 9-2 at #1) in garnering one of two #1 doubles slots on the second team.  O'Bryan (6-4, 6-4 at #2) looks in line to reprise her role at #2 singles, while Jessie Mitchell (15-4) and Brittany Wilson (6-7) performed well at several singles ladder positions.

Virginia Wesleyan College (9-13, 6-5) is also under new leadership as Darryl Cummings looks to build the VWC women's tennis program. Cummings will look to sophomores Mia Proctor and Hannah Parent to guide the Marlins this year. Proctor recorded a 9-9 overall record last season playing at #1 through #5 singles, while Parent posted a 5-12 overall record at #3 through #6 singles.

Randolph-Macon College (9-15, 6-5) and new Director of Tennis, Charles Gray, return several key players.  Angela Sportelli was a third team choice at #1 singles (12-9) as well as #1 doubles (5-7 with partner, 10-12 overall). Olayemisi Ogunshina (11-7, 11-6 at #3), Caty-Betz Holcomb (9-7, 8-5 at #4), and newcomer Melissa Tomlin will all add spark to R-MC's lineup. Tomlin won the consolation draw at B4 singles at the ITA regional this past fall.

Randolph College (9-7, 5-6) also welcomes back a few notable players this spring. Patricia Verdezoto was a second team choice at #2 singles position after posting a 7-2 mark (9-5 overall). Randolph's Dina Velazco (8-5, 5-5 at #1), Danielle Lewis (5-9 at #5/6), and first year Heather Parra will also add depth to the WildCats' roster.

Guilford College (7-9, 4-7) and Sweet Briar College (6-11, 3-8) will both turn to a few key players in 2014 to lead their respective squads. Guilford will look to Haley Andrews (5-10, 5-10 at #1) and Allison Hewitt (10-5 at #4/5/6) to boost the Quakers up in the league standings this year.  Sweet Briar returns Glory Bowman (4-11, 4-10 at #2 singles), while newcomer Caitlin Delmas looks to make an immediate impact for the Vixens. Delmas competed in the ITA Regional in the fall and picked up a win over R-MC's Sportelli, but fell to W&L's Buell.

Hollins University (11-6, 8-3) and Emory & Henry College (7-10, 3-8) both return several key players from a season ago. HU welcomes back two all conference honorees from the 2013 campaign in Victoria Coffee, who earned third team laurels at #3 singles (9-4) and teamed with Sarah Grace McCormick at #2 doubles (11-6). McCormick also posted a 4-11 record at the #4 singles spot. Coffee will slide into the #1 singles position this season.  The Wasps will be under new leadership this season as Jessica Giuggioli takes over E&H's program. Giuggioli will rely on Alyssa Wingate (8-8 at #1), Taylor Evans (11-5 at #2), and Meredith Yeary (7-6 at #3) to push them towards the top portion of the conference standings this year.

Shenandoah University (7-9, 2-9) and Lynchburg College (1-12, 0-11) both return a few key components for the 2014 season. SU returns its #1, #2, and #3  singles players in Shannon Allin (6-8, 6-7 at #1), Molly Barb (9-7, 9-4 at #2), and Amy Rapp (6-4, 6-4 at #3), respectively.  LC's new mentor, Ryan Fitzwilliam, welcomes back his top three singles players in Melissa Drinkard (1-10 at #1), Betsy Stipa (5-4, 5-3 at #2), and Madison Dixon (2-9, 1-7 at #3) to lead Lynchburg this season.

The 2014 women's tennis season begins on Saturday, February 15.  For more information on ODAC women's tennis, visit any of the participating schools' 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 and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.

2014 ODAC WOMEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes first place votes

1. Washington and Lee (11)

121 pts.

2. Roanoke

98 pts.

3. Bridgewater (1)

90 pts.

4. Virginia Wesleyan

82 pts.

5. Randolph-Macon

77 pts.

6. Randolph

63 pts.

7. Guilford

57 pts.

7. Sweet Briar

57 pts.

9. Hollins

56 pts.

10. Emory & Henry

47 pts.

11. Shenandoah

31 pts.

12. Lynchburg

13 pts.