Nichols Poised to Continue CCC Championship Streak as Women’s Tennis Preseason Favorite

Nichols Poised to Continue CCC Championship Streak as Women’s Tennis Preseason Favorite

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Three-time reigning Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Women’s Tennis Tournament Champion Nichols will look to continue that streak in 2019 as it was selected as the favorite in the CCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Bison claimed 63 points in this year’s poll including seven of a possible eight first place votes. The voting was conducted by the league’s eight head women’s tennis coaches last week.

Nichols has had a lot of success in conference play over the last three seasons winning all 23 regular-season conference matches it has played during that time span. As the No. 1 seed in last year’s conference tournament, the Bison swept Roger Williams in the semifinals and then held off Endicott, 5-3, in the championship match.

The CCC Tournament Champions would earn a spot in the 2019 NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship last spring where it defeated Colby-Sawyer in the First Round before falling to Bowdoin in the Second Round.

Endicott, which has made eight straight CCC Championship match appearances, will look to return to the top spot this year and was selected second in the preseason poll. The Gulls earned 53 points in the poll and have been the conference runner-up three years running. Before that they had put together a string of five-straight CCC Tournament titles.

Rounding out the top half the table were Roger Williams and Gordon in third and fourth place, respectively. The Hawks garnered 45 points, while Gordon earned 39. Salve Regina was the only other school to receive a first place vote and was ranked fifth with 33 points.

Western New England (26 points), Wentworth (19), and Curry (10) completed this year’s polling in that order.

First serve for CCC women’s tennis teams is Friday, Aug. 30 with two teams playing non-conference matchups. Nichols and Endicott will kick off the 2019 CCC schedule on Thursday, Sept. 12 with the remaining teams starting their conference slates later in the week. The top six teams in the conference standings at the end of the regular-season will qualify for the 2019 CCC Women’s Tennis Championship Tournament. The tournament begins on Tuesday, Oct. 16 with two quarterfinal matches. The winners of those matches will move on to the semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 22. The league season will conclude on Saturday, Oct. 26 with the CCC Tournament Championship match. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the conference’s automatic qualifier into the 2020 NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2019 CCC women’s tennis schedule.

 

2019 CCC Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Nichols 63 (7)
2. Endicott 53
3. Roger Williams 45
4. Gordon 39
5. Salve Regina 33 (1)
6. Western New England 26
7. Wentworth 19
8. Curry 10


2019 CCC Women's Tennis Previews

Contributed by each school's sports information department.

 

1. Nichols

The Bison women’s tennis program seeks to repeat as conference champions for the fourth straight year with the help from three-time CCC Player of the year senior Amarie Settiwongse (Bangkok, Thailand) and doubles partner senior Isabelle Leonardi (North Hampton, N.H.). The Bison are returning much of their roster from the championship squad including sophomore and CCC Second Team Singles pick Kara Stankewitz (Cologne, Germany) and juniors Rachel McDonald (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) and Megan Nathanson (Scarborough, Maine), who were both tabbed with All-CCC Second Team Doubles.

  Amarie Settiwongse, NC

2. Endicott

Under second-year head coach Anthony D'Angelo the Gulls will look to take home their seventh CCC title in program history. Coming off a 13-7 overall record and a 6-1 mark in conference play last season, Endicott will look to get back to the CCC Championship match for the 12th straight season behind CCC Rookie of The Year, and All-CCC First Team Singles selection Justine Hoover (Wallingford, Conn.), and All-CCC First Team Doubles tandem of Gretta Hartman (Glastonbury, Conn.) and Fernanda Trevino (Dallas, Texas). 

  Justine Hoover, EC

3. Roger Williams

Last season, the Roger Williams women’s tennis team ended the season with seven wins while earning a berth to the CCC Semifinals. The Hawks collected three wins in conference play, while notching the No. 5 seed in the CCC Tournament. In postseason honors, three student-athletes were selected to the All-CCC team last year, as well as three players being selected as ITA Scholar-Athletes. This year’s team will be loaded with depth, as the Hawks return their entire starting lineup from last season while bringing in four newcomers. Head coach Barry Gorman will guide the Hawks for his seventh season and looks to collect his first CCC Championship at RWU. Junior Heidi Martin (Scitutate, Mass.), a 2018 All-CCC selection at singles and doubles, will help lead Roger Williams in the upcoming season.

   Heidi Martin, RWU

4. Gordon

After assisting the Gordon College tennis teams last year, Jack Sahlman enters his first season as the head coach of the Fighting Scots. Sahlman’s squad will rely heavily on senior Anne Carsey (Flagstaff, Ariz.), whose 2018 All-CCC Second Team campaign sported a record of 4-2 in league matchups. Additionally, sophomore Anna Mullane (North Chelmsford, Mass.) boasted an 11-1 overall record and a 4-1 performance in CCC action and will look to build upon her solid rookie season. 

The Scots hit the court on Friday, Aug. 30 as they host Colby-Sawyer at 4 p.m. 

  Anne Carsey, GC

5. Salve Regina

First-year head coach Adam Zaccara '95 returns to his alma mater where he helped Salve Regina win three conference titles with men's tennis (1992, 1994, 1995). He volunteered last season with both programs and has enthusiasm for the leadership and talent that returns for the Seahawks. 

Second-year Seahawks Lauren Harvey (Edmond, Okla.) and Makenzie Sadler (Mystic, Conn.) operated at the top singles posts and were the No. 1 doubles tandem for Salve Regina. Zaccara sees an eager crop of newcomers ready to make a claim for spots along with senior captains Shealyn FitzPatrick (South Windsor, Conn.), Priscilla Gaspard (Brockton, Mass.), and Lily Gorman (South Yarmouth, Mass.). 

Laura Krick (Groton, Conn.) and Erin Stangel (Old Saybrook, Conn.) enter their third season with plenty of match experience. 

  Erin Stangel, SRU

6. Western New England

Jenn Kolins begins her 20th season as head coach of the Western New England women’s tennis program in 2019. The Golden Bears made their fifth consecutive appearance in the CCC Tournament last fall after posting a 2-5 record in league action.

Senior Morgan Schrader (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) and junior Maylene LaPress (Bedford, N.H.) both return after earning All-CCC accolades last season. Schrader turned in a team-best 7-1 record primarily at No. 2 singles, including a 5-1 mark in CCC play. Senior Rachel Bauer (Palmer, Mass.) and junior Jessica Cote (Groton, Conn.) teamed up to post a 3-2 doubles record at the No. 3 position last fall.

Western New England opens the 2019 season on the road at Northern Vermont-Johnson on Sunday, Sept. 1. The Golden Bears begin the CCC portion of their schedule at Wentworth on Saturday, Sept. 14, before taking on Nichols in the home opener at the Volvo Courts on Saturday, Sept. 21.

 
Morgan Schrader, WNE

7. Wentworth

Two-time All-CCC selection Ali Sollecito (Taunton, Mass.) leads a veteran-heavy Wentworth women’s tennis squad in the 2019 campaign. Sollecito, a junior, posted an 8-8 record at No. 1 singles and added five more wins playing at No. 1 doubles during her sophomore season. Joining Sollecito as returners who should make contributions this year for the Leopards are senior Olivia DeLuca (Dracut, Mass.), who played No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles a season ago and junior Hannah Erickson (Columbia, Conn.), who saw the majority of her time at No. 5 singles and teamed with DeLuca at No. 2 doubles. Senior Sam McGibbon (Pembroke, Mass.) returns to the Leopards after posting six singles wins as a sophomore.

 
Ali Sollecito, WIT

8. Curry

Curry women’s tennis head coach Cory Tusler enters his second 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. With no seniors on the roster, the Colonels will turn to its junior core of Alison Daigle (Edgartown, Mass.), Samantha Gilbert (Bedford, Mass.), and Kelsie Merrill (Hope, Maine). Tusler welcomes in six freshmen to round out the roster.

 
Samantha Gilbert, 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. In 2020, the conference will expand to 10 full members with the addition of Suffolk University.

 

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