NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's tennis team has been picked to finish second in the annual Little East Conference pre-season poll.
The Corsairs received two first place votes and 74 points in the poll, three points behind first-place Bridgewater State, which received the other seven first place votes. The predicted finish ties UMD's highest placing ever in the LEC pre-season poll.
Rhode Island College was third with 51 points; Plymouth State and Salem State were tied with 50 points each, followed by Worcester State with 36 points, Southern Maine with 33, UMass Boston with 24 and Western Connecticut with 10.
"The preseason coaches' poll indicates that we are a serious contender for the Little East Conference championship, and that is exactly where we want to be," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Doug Chapman.
"Bridgewater State, as defending champions and with so many LEC all-stars back, should be the favorite until someone can knock them off. With a veteran team returning, we hope to be that team. Bridgewater State received five more first place votes than we did, but only finished three points ahead of us. It shows a measure of respect for us, but we will need to work hard and earn it on the court. I believe the league is getting stronger, and the number of teams bunched together in the middle of the pack indicates that competition will be tight. UMass Boston was picked for eighth, but I think they could be a sleeper and surprise a lot of people."
The Corsairs finished 10-2 overall and 7-1 in LEC play last year, finishing second in the standings advancing to the semi-finals of the LEC Tournament. UMass Dartmouth will begin their 2012 schedule at the Hall of Fame Grass Court Doubles Tournament on September 14th.
UMASS DARTMOUTH TENNIS
LITTLE EAST CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TENNIS POLL
1st place votes Points
Bridgewater State 7 77
UMass Dartmouth 2 74
Rhode Island College 51
Plymouth State 50
Salem State 50
Worcester State 36
Southern Maine 33
UMass Boston 24
Western Connecticut State 10