Rams Picked Fifth in Skyline Conference Preseason Poll
for Women's Tennis with Automatic Bid at Stake
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – After going 10-1 overall, including 8-0 in Skyline Conference regular-season play last fall, St. Joseph's College has been selected by the head coaches as the conference preseason favorite in women's tennis. The Skyline Conference champion will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship for the first time in 2009-10.
Last season, St. Joseph's rolled into the Skyline Conference championship with a perfect 10-0 record only to be derailed by eventual champion Bard in the semifinals. With no seniors on last season's roster, head coach Glenn Nathan has his squad positioned for a run at a first conference title. The Golden Eagles return three All-Skyline players in senior Danielle Rufrano, junior Terri Leonard and sophomore Kathryn Wood. Rufrano went 9-1 overall, including a perfect 8-0 at second singles. Leonard went a combined 8-3 at first, second and third singles. Wood was unbeaten in her rookie season, playing primarily at fifth and sixth singles.
Mount Saint Mary, which finished second in the regular season before falling to Bard in the conference championship had four players earn All-Skyline honors last season. All four players return in seniors Rebecca Schwartz (2nd), Danielle Kehoe (3rd), Caitlin Giordano (4th) and junior Lindsay Searle (1st).
Bard captured the Skyline championship last fall after finishing fourth in the regular season. The Raptors knocked off the top two seeds, St. Joseph's and Mount Saint Mary, on the road on back-to-back days to take the title. Sophomore Sofia Commito earned Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year honors after going 9-2 at first singles as a freshman. Fellow sophomore Chloe Stergides also earned All-Skyline honors after going a combined 8-2 at second and third singles.
Sage was the surprise team in the conference last season after finishing third during the regular season. Led by senior Christina Gray, the Skyline Conference Player of the Year, the Gators should be in for another strong season this fall.
SKYLINE CONFERENCE WOMEN’S TENNIS
2009 PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
1. St. Joseph's-L.I. (4) 60
2. Mount Saint Mary (3) 58
3. Bard (2) 48
4. Sage 42
5. Farmingdale State 38
6. Purchase 33
7. Yeshiva 21
8. Mount Saint Vincent 15
9. Polytechnic 9
(first-place votes in parentheses)