Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pomona-Pitzer Named Favorites in SCIAC Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Preseason Poll

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pomona-Pitzer Named Favorites in SCIAC Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Preseason Poll

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas and Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens were selected as the favorites in the 2017 conference preseason poll conducted among the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s tennis coaches. The Athenas and Sagehens both received 60 points and four first-place votes.

Redlands took third with 48 points as they ended the 2016 season ranked No. 19 nationally, while Cal Lutheran snagged the fourth spot with 40 points.  Caltech (29) and Chapman (25) took fifth and sixth respectively while Occidental (15) and Whittier (11) rounded out the poll.

CMS and PP shared the SCIAC Championship title in 2016 as they split dual matches during the regular season with the Athenas earning the conference automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament with the 7-2 win over the Sagehens in the conference championship tournament.  CMS went 21-5 overall and 10-1 in conference as they defeated Trinity (TX) 5-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament to set up a second-round match against Pomona-Pitzer which defeated Lewis & Clark 5-0. CMS took the rubber match 5-3 to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals where they fell to Bowdoin 5-1.

Pomona-Pitzer returns the 2016 SCIAC Newcomer of the Year Caroline Casper who fell in the semifinals of the NCAA singles Championship in her debut last season. Casper took home the fall ITA singles tournament title defeating Catherine Allen of CMS 6-4, 6-4.   CMS will look to senior Katie Kousman who finished as the national runner-up in doubles with partner Caroline Ward and earned ITA All-America team honors in doubles for the third time.

Redlands and Cal Lutheran hope to challenge the top two teams as Cal Lutheran returns their entire 2016 roster including First-Team All-SCIAC Gianna Cupo.   Redlands will have to replace the graduated Natalie Etchegaray who was named the 2016 West Region Senior Player of the Year.  The Bulldogs return Emily Murnin and Lauren Villanueva both All-SCIAC Second Team from a year ago.

The SCIAC continues to be one of the toughest in Division III with four teams in the top 40 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll entering the season – No. 5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, No. 6 Pomona-Pitzer, No. 19 Redlands and No. 40 Cal Lutheran.   

Caltech opened the season in late January with a tough 5-4 loss to Linfield before defeating George Fox 8-1.  The rest of the SCIAC teams return to the court in early February with the eight-team conference championship slated for May 5-7 hosted by Redlands. 

 

Institution

Points (first-place votes)

1. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

60 (4)

1. Pomona-Pitzer

60 (4)

3. Redlands

48

4. Cal Lutheran

40

5. Caltech

29

6. Chapman

25

7. Occidental

15

8. Whittier

11