The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) was slated to finish atop the 2019 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Women's Tennis Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's member head coaches.
After logging a sensational 29-2 overall record, 7-0 SCIAC mark a year ago, and a SCIAC Postseason Tournament title, the Athenas went on to earn the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Championship, and finished the run with a national title. CMS picked up 5-0 wins in the SCIAC Tournament over fourth-seeded Chapman and second-seeded Pomona-Pitzer, before downing Whitman (5-0) and the Saghens (5-0) in NCAA regional action. A fifth straight 5-0 decision over MIT, followed by a 5-3 win over Williams in the national semifinals, advanced the Athenas to the national championship contest. CMS then edged Emory, 5-4 to win the NCAA crown. The Athenas received seven of eight first place votes in the 2019 preseason poll.
Pomona-Pitzer was voted second entering the 2019 season with 57 points, highlighted by a first place vote and seven second place mentions. The Sagehens tabbed a 15-8 record, 6-1 in SCIAC play in 2018 and defeated third-seeded Redlands, 5-0 in the conference postseason tournament before falling to CMS in the championship match. Pomona-Pitzer earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship and knocked off Trinity (Texas), 5-0 before falling to the Athenas, 5-0 in regional play.
The 2018 third seed with an 11-10 (5-2 SCIAC) mark, Redlands was voted to finish third ahead of the 2019 campaign. The Bulldogs advanced to the SCIAC semifinals where they fell to the Sagehens, 5-0. Chapman was marked to finish fourth in 2019 after placing there a year ago following a 10-9 overall mark, and a 4-3 SCIAC record. The Panthers were also SCIAC Postseason Tournament semifinalists - falling to CMS, 5-0.
Caltech finished two points behind Chapman in the 2019 preseason poll voting (36) and were tabbed to finish fifth, while California Lutheran was picked to finish sixth with 25 points after earning that spot a year ago. Last year's eighth place squad Whittier (14 points), edged Occidental (11 points) in the 2019 preseason poll voting.
CMS is ranked first in the latest ITA Rankings, while Pomona-Pitzer is eighth. Redlands (26) and Chapman (33) round out SCIAC teams in the Top 40 nationally.
2019 SCIAC Preseason Poll
1. CMS (7) - 63 points
2. Pomona-Pitzer (1) - 57 points)
3. Redlands - 44 points
4. Chapman - 38 points
5. Caltech - 36 points
6. Cal Lutheran - 25 points
7. Whittier - 14 points
8. Occidental - 11 points