NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The head coaches of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) project the University of the Sciences women's tennis team will qualify for the CACC Semifinals for a third straight year, something the Devils have not done since the first three years of CACC women's tennis from 2005-07.
USciences was voted fourth in the 2018 CACC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll, unveiled on Thursday, finishing behind the top three teams for the 2017-18 season: Goldey-Beacom, Concordia and Wilmington.
Two-time defending champion Goldey-Beacom narrowly edged out Concordia by just two points, finishing with five first-place votes compared to the Clippers' four. The Devils fell to the Lightning in the CACC Semifinals a season ago.
Rounding out the poll were Jefferson, whom USciences beat in the CACC First Round last season, Chestnut Hill, Post, Caldwell and Holy Family.
University of the Sciences finished the 2017-18 campaign 5-3 in the league to finish fourth for the second year in a row.
The Devils return 7-of-8 student-athletes from the 2017-18 roster, including two-time defending CACC Player of the Year Karla Miletic and the program's all-time leader in doubles wins in Elkanah Linder.
Notably, Linder broke the program's single-season record for doubles victories last year with rising sophomore Danielle Paran.
Three of the other four returners – Abbygail Gamarnik, Julia James and Gabrielle Soriano – all feature in the top-10 of the program's single-season doubles wins list, while the other returner, Han Le, went 3-1 in CACC doubles play last year.
Also featuring for University of the Sciences this upcoming campaign will be incoming freshman Stephanie Mazurek.
In addition to reaching double-digit wins for the second year in a row in 2017-18 (11-8), and the third time in four years, USciences reached the CACC Semifinals for a second straight year. Prior to the previous season, the Devils had not appeared in the CACC semifinals since 2007.
University of the Sciences opens its 2018-19 season on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the TCNJ Invitational.
2018 CACC WOMEN'S TENNIS PRESEASON POLL
1. Goldey-Beacom College 77 (5 first-place votes)
2. Concordia College 75 (4)
3. Wilmington University 56
4. University of the Sciences 46
5. Jefferson 41
6. Chestnut Hill College 37
7. Post University 33
8. Caldwell University 22
9. Holy Family University 12