WINTHROP, Mass. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's tennis team was voted to finish seventh in the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Preseason Coaches' Poll as announced Monday by the league's front office. The annual poll's results are determined amongst a vote by the conference's eight head coaches. Reigning GNAC Coach of the Year, Karen Piazza, enters her third season as the women's tennis coach with an even mix of eager newcomers and determined returners. The Blue Jays will host their first home match Saturday, September 1 against Salve Regina. Opening serve is set to begin at 12:30 pm.
Colby-Sawyer College, which officially became the Great Northeast Athletic Conference's newest full core member on July 1, received 57 points and four of the possible eight first-place votes to take the top spot in the 2018 GNAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll.
JWU finished second in the poll with 56 points and one first-place vote after claiming the GNAC Championship for the second straight year in 2017. The Wildcats went 15-2 overall last year, including an unblemished 6-0 mark in GNAC regular-season play. Their only two losses came at the hands of Colby-Sawyer, an 8-1 defeat last September, before the NCAA Tournament setback this past May.
Simmons College, which won eight straight GNAC titles from 2008-2015, finished third in the poll with three first-place votes and 49 points overall. The Sharks will begin the year at home against Roger Williams on Saturday, September 1 before traveling to Gordon on Labor Day.
After falling to Simmons last year in the GNAC Tournament Semifinals, Regis (Mass.) took the fourth position in the voting with 39 points.
Making up the remainder of the poll was Eastern Nazarene in fifth with 32 poll points, Suffolk in sixth with 31 points, the Blue Jays in seventh garnering 16 points and Albertus Magnus rounding things out in eighth with 8 points.
2018 GNAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll
1. Colby-Sawyer (4) - 57
2. Johnson & Wales (1) - 56
3. Simmons (3) - 49
4. Regis (Mass.) - 39
5. Eastern Nazarene - 32
6. Suffolk - 31
7. Saint Joseph (Conn.) - 16
8. Albertus Magnus - 8
About the GNAC
Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.