Cleveland, OH ? In the preseason poll conducted among the Mid-American Conference women’s tennis coaches the only clear indicator is that it’s going to be an extremely competitive season in 2009.
Miami was a close choice to win the regular season with Western Michigan earning the most votes to capture the league tournament and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The RedHawks were a scant one-point favorite over WMU in the regular season count. Four teams received at least one vote to take the tournament crown in April (Western Michigan, Miami, Bowling Green and Buffalo).
Western Michigan is the defending regular season champion while Buffalo captured last year’s tournament. This year’s tournament is scheduled for April 23-26 in Bowling Green.
Returning first-team All-MAC selections from last year are Player of the Year Kerstin Pahl from Western Michigan, co-Freshman of the Year Anastasia Dracheva from Miami, Kelsey Jakupcin from Bowling Green, and Brintney Larson from Miami.
Second-team all-conference selections from 2008 who are returning are Denise Harijanto of Buffalo, Martina Woodzinski from Toledo, Christine Chiricosta from Bowling Green, and Tanyaradzwa Gombera from Akron.
In addition, co-Freshman of the Year Diana Popescu from Buffalo returns.
The complete voting totals are as follows. The pre season men’s tennis poll will be released early next week.
2009 MAC Women’s Tennis Preseason Poll
1. Miami (76)
2. Western Michigan (75)
3. Buffalo (57)
4. Toledo (53)
5. Bowling Green (45)
6. Akron (37)
7. Eastern Michigan (33)
8. Northern Illinois (15)
9. Ball State (14)
(total points based on 9 for a first place vote; 8 for second place, etc.)
First place votes: Miami (5), Western Michigan (3), Buffalo (1).
Tournament winner votes: Western Michigan (4), Miami (3), Bowling Green (1), Buffalo (1). Miami and Western Michigan tabbed as the favorites in 2009