Women's Tennis: Preseason USA South coaches poll released

Sophomore Delaney James returns for the Panthers for the upcoming 2015 season.
Sophomore Delaney James returns for the Panthers for the upcoming 2015 season.

The USA South Athletic Conference released the 2015 preseason coaches poll. LaGrange is picked eighth in the 13-team league.

The Panthers, under head coach Matt Donnett, are coming off a very successful 2014 campaign. They were 8-7 overall, 6-6 in conference play and reached the USA South championship tournament for the second straight season.

Junior Morgan McDonald heads the returners for the Panthers. McDonald posted a team-best 11-3 overall record that included a 10-3 mark at #3 singles. She also led the team with a 9-2 record in conference matches.

Sophomores Delaney James and Denny Meigs also return for the Panthers. Donnett has added five freshmen: Ali Herring, Macy Milford, Lauren Schexnayder, Kaitlin Smith and Nina Wyman.

Five-time defending champion Methodist University was picked to capture the 2015 title in the preseason coaches' poll. Last spring, the Monarchs captured the USA South Tournament title for the fifth consecutive season. Methodist received eight of 13 first place votes and 140 points as head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting.

Meredith College, last season's tournament runners-up, finished second in the balloting with 125 points. Placing third in the poll with 118 points and the final five first place votes was N.C. Wesleyan College while Covenant College came in fourth with 111 points. Huntingdon College ranked fifth with 100 points and was followed in sixth by Piedmont College who grabbed 93 points.

The women's tennis spring season gets underway on Saturday, February 7 as two teams are in action. LaGrange opens its season Feb. 21 when it hosts Johnson College.

The 2015 USA South Women's Tennis Tournament will be played April 17-19 on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan as a part of the USA South Spring Sports Festival in Rocky Mount, N.C.

2015 USA South Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches Poll

Rank

Institution (1st Place Votes)

Pts.

1.

Methodist (8)

140

2.

Meredith

125

3.

N.C. Wesleyan (5)

118

4.

Covenant

111

5.

Huntingdon

100

6.

Piedmont

93

7.

Maryville

87

8.

LaGrange

62

9.

William Peace

58

10.

Averett

39

11.

Mary Baldwin

32

12.

Ferrum

26

13.

Greensboro

23