Nichols Nabs Top Spot In CCC Women’s Tennis Preseason Poll

Nichols Nabs Top Spot In CCC Women’s Tennis Preseason Poll

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Nichols women’s tennis comes into the 2018 season as the two-time reigning Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament Champions and as the 2018 preseason favorite as determined by the CCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Nichols, which has appeared in seven of the past eight CCC Tournament Championship matches, had its second-consecutive perfect conference season last year going 8-0 in league play (20-3 overall). The Bison won both of their CCC Tournament matches handily, earning 5-1 victories in both the semifinal and championship matches. They earned 60 points in this year’s poll including five of the possible eight first place votes.

Endicott, which has made seven straight CCC Tournament Championship appearances, finished in second on this year’s ballot by a single point. The Gulls grabbed 59 points and the last three remaining first place votes. Endicott’s only losses to conference opponents last year came at the hands of the Bison. It will be trying to reclaim the crown after Nichols ended its streak of five consecutive conference titles two years ago.

Roger Williams and Gordon, last year’s No. 3 and No. 4 seeds landed in those spots, respectively, in this year’s poll. The Hawks collected 47 points, while the Fighting Scots earned 42.

Western New England (32 points), Wentworth (20), Salve Regina (18), and Curry (10) made up the bottom half of the ledger.

The first women’s tennis match involving a CCC team this year is on Aug. 31 as Gordon travels to Colby-Sawyer. The other CCC teams will begin action later that week with conference play starting on Wednesday, Sept. 12. The CCC Women’s Tennis Championship Tournament will be the first conference tournament of the year with the top six teams qualifying. The bottom four seeds will play in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The winners will advance to play the top two seeds in the semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The semifinal winners will meet for the CCC Tournament Championship on Saturday, Oct. 20. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the conference’s automatic qualifier in to the 2019 NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2018 CCC women’s tennis schedule.

 

2018 CCC Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Nichols 60 (5)
2. Endicott 59 (3)
3. Roger Williams 47
4. Gordon 42
5. Western New England 32
6. Wentworth 20
7. Salve Regina 18
8. Curry 10

 

2018 CCC Women's Tennis Previews

Contributed by each school's sports information department.

 

1. Nichols

The Nichols women’s tennis program is seeking its third-straight CCC Tournament Championship. Junior and two-time conference Player of the Year Amarie Settiwongse (Bangkok, Thailand) anchors the top of the lineup alongside junior Megan Nathanson (Scarborough, Maine) (All-CCC Second Team – Singles), sophomore Juliana Herrera (Villavicencio, Colombia) (All-CCC Third Team – Singles), and junior Isabelle Leonardi (North Hampton, N.H.) (All-CCC Third Team – Singles & Second Team – Doubles). The Bison have won their last 17 CCC matches, dating back to the 2015-16 campaign. Their last conference loss came against Roger Williams on Sept. 26, 2015.

 
Megan Nathanson, NC

2. Endicott

After winning five straight CCC titles from 2011-2015, the Endicott women's tennis program looks to return to the top of the conference in 2018 after falling short in the CCC Championship for the last two seasons.

The Gulls will rely heavily on CCC Rookie of the Year Gretta Hartman (Glastonbury, Conn.) and former CCC Player of the Year Hayley Barnett (Marlboro, N.J.) to return the program to championship glory this fall. Along with Hartman and Barnett, Endicott will look to fellow CCC All-Conference honorees Reilly Fitzgibbons (Killingworth, Conn.), Gillian Freter (Scituate, Mass.), Lauren Rahr (Waterford, Conn.), and Margot Andreasen (Portland, Maine) and the squad's remaining seniors Alexandra Barmore (Southington, Conn.), Bridget Cott (Wilton, Conn.) and Alexi Losano (Saugus, Mass.) to lead the way.

  Hayley Barnett, EC

3. Roger Williams

Last season, the Roger Williams women’s tennis team finished the year with 12 wins while reaching the CCC Semifinals. RWU posted a 6-2 record in conference play while earning the No. 3 seed for the CCC Tournament. In addition, six student-athletes made the All-CCC team last year and seven were chosen as ITA Scholar-Athletes.

This season, head coach Barry Gorman begins his sixth year at the helm and looks to bring RWU back to the CCC Championship and come away with their first conference championship since 2007. Expected to play a large role for the team is junior Taryn Roche (Greenlawn, N.Y.), who last year went 11-5 in singles during the regular season and 5-1 in singles in conference play.

   Taryn Roche, RWU


4. Gordon

Gordon returns four of its top six players from last season, including seniors Gabrielle Brucker (Eleva, Wis.), Kaelyn Hall (Sugar Land, Texas), and Justine Hanson (Meadow Vista, Calif.). Brucker went 8-6 in singles play and 8-7 in doubles play which earned her All-CCC Doubles Third Team honors with Hanson. Hall recorded a combined 9-7 record in CCC play and was named All-CCC Doubles Second Team last season. Hanson was named All-CCC Singles First Team for the second time after going 5-5 in singles play. She also went 6-5 (5-3 CCC) in doubles play.

The Fighting Scots open the season on the road Aug. 31 at Colby-Sawyer. They will play Simmons and Smith at home before hosting Salve Regina in their CCC opener Sept. 12.

  Justine HansonGC

5. Western New England

After posting a 4-9 (3-5 CCC) record last season, Western New England will look to improve this fall under 19th-year head coach Jenn Kolins.

The Golden Bears return the majority of their roster from a season ago, including sophomore Maylene LaPress (Bedford, N.H.), who held the No. 1 singles position during her freshman campaign. Senior Petra Martinelli (Vernon, Conn.) and juniors Morgan Schrader (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) and Rachel Bauer (Palmer, Mass.) will also play key roles for Western New England.

The 2018 campaign gets underway on Monday, Sept. 3, when the Golden Bears travel to Johnson & Wales. Western New England hosts Roger Williams for its CCC opener on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Maylene LaPress, WNE

6. Wentworth

First-year head coach JC Cangelosi welcomes five returning letter-winners to the 2018-19 Wentworth Institute of Technology women’s tennis team. Cangelosi, who was a Leopard assistant a season ago, inherits a team which just missed qualifying for the CCC Tournament last year and is led by sophomore Ali Sollecito (Taunton, Mass.), a First Team All-CCC selection in singles play during her rookie season. Sollecito posted a 10-5 record at number one singles – the second-most wins in a season in program history – and was 5-3 against league opponents. She also had five doubles triumphs, including three at number one. Senior Ellen Butts (Brookfield, Mass.) teamed with Sollecito at number one doubles a season ago while also seeing the majority of her time at number four singles.

 
Ali Sollecito, WIT

7. Salve Regina

Head coach Peter Torgrimson, who enters his third season leading the Seahawks, is looking forward to another fun season with the Salve Regina women’s tennis team. The trio of seniors Abigail Burke (Harwich, Mass.), Anna Godshalk (Orleans, Mass.), and Darcy Carlin (Brewster, N.Y.), will look to leave their mark in their final year of college tennis. “Our team is healthy with many returning players and we welcome the addition of incoming freshman, Makenzie Sadler (Mystic, Conn.) and Lauren Harvey (Edmond, Okla.) who will look to contribute in a big way,” said Torgrimson. “Salve Regina women’s tennis is ready to compete and have a successful and rewarding year on the court.”

 
Abigail Burke, SRU

8. Curry

Curry College women’s tennis head coach Cory Tusler enters his first season at the helm of the women’s squad and looks to make improvements with a group of returners and newcomers to this year’s squad. The team will lean its lone senior Rosario Robidoux (Agawam, Mass) along with juniors Taylor Johnson (Abington, Mass.), Stephanie Leblanc (East Bridgewater, Mass.), and Alexis McLea-Perry (Plymouth, Mass.). The squad also returns four sophomores and welcomes four freshmen to round out the 2018 roster. 2018 should be an exciting year as the team looks to improve their overall and conference records.

 
Stephanie Leblanc, CC

 

ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE

The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.

 

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