SOUTH EASTON, MA- The Merrimack women's tennis team has been voted sixth in the Northeast-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll, receiving 109 total votes.
Southern New Hampshire topped the preseason poll with 152 points and nine first-place votes. The Penmen claimed the Northeast-10 Regular Season and Tournament titles last spring. Stonehill was chosen to finish second with 138 points while Adelphi came in third with 126. Bentley captured the fourth slot with 122 points to edge Saint Michael's in fifth with 120. The Skyhawks, Panthers, Falcons and Purple Knights all garnered one first-place nod.
The Warriors posted an 8-10 overall record last season with an 8-5 mark in league matches. Merrimack finished sixth in the conference standings last year and reached the quarterfinals of the Northeast-10 Tournament before falling to third-seeded Adelphi.
The Warriors return eight players this season, including four All-Conference honorees. Alyx Barnes (Portsmouth, NH) led the way last year as she was named the 2011 Northeast-10 Rookie of the Year while earning a spot on the third team. Mollie Fitzgerald (Melrose, MA), Kara Hole (Portsmouth, RI) and Kylie Waddington (Glastonbury, CT) all joined Barnes on the third team.
Merrimack will boast a 3-2 overall record and a 2-0 mark in the Northeast-10 at the start of the spring slate. The Warriors claimed wins over Assumption, Le Moyne and Roberts Wesleyan during the fall.
Freshman Shakee Messina (Caracas, Venezuela) paces the squad with a 4-1 singles record. Fitzgerald owns a 3-1 singles mark heading into the spring. In doubles play, Fitzgerald and Hole lead Merrimack with a 4-1 record.
Head coach Sean Tully is in his first season at the helm of the Merrimack women's tennis program.
|2012 Northeast-10 Preseason Poll||Points (FPV)|
|1. Southern NH||152 (9)|
|2. Stonehill||138 (1)|
|3. Adelphi||126 (1)|
|4. Bentley||122 (1)|
|5. Saint Michael's||120 (1)|
|7. Saint Anselm||74|
|9. Le Moyne||67|
|10. Saint Rose||63|
|11. Franklin Pierce||49|
|13. New Haven||31|
|14. American Int'l||14|