Bridgewater State Selected As Women's Tennis Preseason Pick
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Bridgewater State University has
been selected as the Little East women's tennis preseason favorite,
according to the 2012 preseason coaches' poll released this
afternoon by the conference office. The Bears earned seven of the
nine first place votes and 79 total points to sit atop the
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth produced 63 total points to finish second in the preseason survey, while Plymouth State University registered 58 markers to place third. Salem State University has been projected to finish fourth in the conference race after earning the remaining two first place tallies and 54 points.
Bridgewater State is making its debut atop the preseason coaches' poll after capturing the program's second-straight regular-season championship in 2011. Last season, Barry Gorman guided the Bears to their fourth consecutive campaign with at least 12 victories, posting an overall record of 12-2. Bridgewater State secured the Little East regular-season title on the strength of an unblemished 8-0 mark to earn the top-seed in the conference championship tournament. The Bears made the program's fourth appearance in the Little East Championship match after defeating UMass Dartmouth in the semifinal. Bridgewater State was upset in an epic championship round by Salem State.
In 2012, Gorman will welcome five starters and eight student-athletes back into the fold from the 2011 squad. Junior Jenna Williamson (Ludlow, Mass.) will set the tone for the Bears at top-flight singles. The 2011 Little East Player of the Year defeated each of her eight conference opponents at No. 1 singles en route to posting an overall record of 12-2. Bridgewater State will open its 2012 schedule at 3:30 p.m. on September 4, when the Bears host Johnson & Wales.
UMass Dartmouth is making its highest appearance in the Little East preseason survey, moving up one position from the 2011 inaugural poll. Last fall, Ralph Perry directed the Corsairs to an overall record of 9-5, and a fourth place finish in the conference race with a 5-3 mark. UMass Dartmouth handed fifth-seeded Southern Maine a 5-1 decision to advance to the semifinals. The Corsairs bowed out of the Little East Championship tournament at Bridgewater State.
Perry will return a total of eight players, including five starters, from the last season. Junior Nicole Pelletier (Swansea, Mass.) is expected to return to her role at the No. 1 singles option after sporting a 7-6 record in 2011. UMass Dartmouth will begin its 2012 slate at 3:30 p.m. on September 6, when the Corsairs travel to Becker College.
Completing the annual preseason coaches' survey in projected order of finish in the regular season standings are University of Southern Maine (49), University of Massachusetts Boston (37), Rhode Island College (25), Western Connecticut State University (22), and Worcester State University (18).
The top-six teams in the final regular-season standings advance to the 2012 Little East Women's Tennis Championship with the top-two teams earning a first-round bye and home court advantage in the semifinal round. The Little East championship match will be held on Saturday, October 20 at the highest remaining seed. The conference champion will earn the automatic qualifier into the 2012 NCAA Division III Championship.
|2012 Little East Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll|
|Rank||Institution||First Place||Total Points|
|1||Bridgewater State University||7||79|
|2||University of Massachusetts Dartmouth||63|
|3||Plymouth State University||58|
|4||Salem State University||2||54|
|5||University of Southern Maine||49|
|6||University of Massachusetts Boston||37|
|7||Rhode Island College||25|
|8||Western Connecticut State University||22|
|9||Worcester State University||18|
Formed in 1986, the Little East serves as New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. Featuring 19 championship sports, the Little East sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes. Our eight state colleges and universities dedicate themselves to an ongoing fulfillment of the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship, and citizenship.