GREENVILLE, Pa. (pacathletics.org)–For the fifth time in the last six seasons, the Grove City College women’s tennis program claimed at least a share of the top spot in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) annual preseason coaches’ poll, voted on by the league’s eight head coaches. The results of the poll were unveiled with the league’s players to watch list Wednesday.
Grove City headlines this year’s preseason poll after claiming the 2018 team title. The top seed in last year’s PAC Women’s Tennis Championship Tournament, Grove City rolled to a 5-1 championship match victory over third-seeded Westminster College last October to claim its fourth league title in the past five years. The Wolverines have registered a PAC-best 30 championships.
Led by second-year head coach Henry Boyle, Grove City collected six first-place votes and 55 total points in this year’s preseason poll.
Westminster and fifth-year head coach Dave Hayden picked up the remaining pair of first-place votes and 49 points to finish second in this year’s poll. The Titans have shared—or won outright—PAC team titles in four of the last seven seasons. Washington & Jefferson College and eighth-year head coach Chris Faulk totaled 46 points to finish third.
Geneva College was picked to finish fourth (35) and was followed by Saint Vincent College in fifth (35). Bethany College (21) and Thiel College (21) tied for sixth while Waynesburg University was picked eighth (19).
Last season was the league’s first to feature a team championship bracket format. The PAC had sponsored a flighted championship, with individual players and doubles pairings exclusively seeded and not based on a team’s finish, since supporting a full complement of women’s sports in 1985-86.
This year’s players to watch list includes six All-PAC First Team and four All-PAC Second Team honorees and an All-PAC Honorable Mention selection from last season.
Headlining the players to watch list is W&J sophomore Maya Krishnasamy (Ventura, Calif. | Ventura), who was named the PAC Player of the Year last October. She led the Presidents to the number two seed in the championship tournament after finishing the regular season with a perfect 7-0 PAC record (14-3 overall) at the No. 1 singles position. She won eight-straight matches to close out the fall season. Krishnasamy and recent graduate Rachel Johnson (Orchard Park, N.Y. | Orchard Park) were W&J’s top doubles pair, posting a 5-2 PAC record (11-6 overall) during the regular season. The pair won its final eight matches to finish the fall season.
Krishnasamy was W&J’s first-ever women’s tennis player of the year.
This year’s players to watch list also includes 13 members of the Fall 2018 PAC Academic Honor Roll, which recognizes student-athletes on varsity sports teams who have earned a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.6 or higher on a 4.0 scale during their semester of competition.
The league’s regular season is scheduled to conclude Thursday, October 17, with the quarterfinals of this year’s PAC Championship Tournament slated for Tuesday, October 22. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, October 25 with the championship match taking place on Saturday, October 26.
While Tuesday’s quarterfinal matches will be hosted by the championship tournament’s top four seeds, the semifinals and championship match will be hosted by W&J at its on-campus Janet Swanson Tennis Center, which has served as the home site for the Presidents’ tennis teams since 2015.
This year’s team champion will secure the PAC’s automatic qualifying bid to the 2020 NCAA Division III Championships. Team selections for the Division III Championships will be announced on Monday, May 4 with preliminary rounds slated for Friday-Sunday, May 8-10.