Women's Tennis Selected Second in 2017 NAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

Women's Tennis Selected Second in 2017 NAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

WATERVILLE, Maine - Husson University took second in the preseason North Atlantic Conference (NAC) coaches' pole with 52 points. Five-time defending champion Colby-Sawyer College was selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2017 NAC Women's Tennis Championship.

Johnson State College claimed third with 43 points and Castleton University was selected fourth after earning 40 points. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts was tabbed fifth with 34 points after garnering the remaining first-place vote.

Rounding out the poll were Thomas College in sixth (31 points), Lyndon State College in seventh (15 points), and Green Mountain College in eighth (10 points).

Voting for the preseason poll was conducted among the league's head women's tennis coaches.

2017 NAC Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll




Points (First Place Votes)



63 (7)












34 (1)








Green Mountain


The top four teams in the 2017 preseason poll competed for the NEAC East title a season ago. In the 2016 semifinals, No. 1 Colby-Sawyer defeated No. 4 Castleton 9-0, while No. 3 Husson earned a 6-3 upset victory over No. 2 Johnson. The Chargers then posted a 5-0 win over the Eagles to earn the East Division title and to move on to the NEAC/NAC Crossover Championship.

Colby-Sawyer went on to capture its fifth-straight crossover championship after defeating Penn St. Abington, 9-0, to receive the NEAC's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Chargers then recorded their second-consecutive NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament first round victory by defeating Bridgewater State 6-0. Unfortunately Colby-Sawyer's season ended in the second round at the hands of eventual quarterfinalists Bowdoin, as the Chargers fell 5-0.  

Throughout the next two weeks all eight NAC women's tennis teams will kick off their fall seasons and their quest for the 2017 NAC Title**. The top four teams in the regular-season conference standings will qualify for the NAC Championship Tournament, which is scheduled for Saturday, October 7, at Colby-Sawyer. The semifinal round will begin in the morning, with the winners meeting in the final round an hour after the opening matches are complete.

Click HERE to view the 2017 NAC Women's Tennis composite schedule.


2017 NAC Women's Tennis Previews

For more information on each team, click the school name to be directed to the women's tennis section of each school's website.


1. Colby-Sawyer (17-6, 7-0 NEAC East) will be led by head coach Barry Schoonmaker, who enters his ninth season at the helm of the women's tennis program. The team returns its top six from last year and will look to make a run for a sixth-straight conference title. Last year's conference player of the year, senior Ashley Woodside (Hampden, Maine; pictured right), leads the Chargers into the 2017-18 season. The squad opens the season on September 1 at Gordon before hosting Nichols a day later. 


2. Husson (8-4, 5-2 NEAC East) will be led by third-year head coach Josh Warren, who returns seven of last year's NEAC East runner-up squad. The Eagles will see Meredith Blessard (Lincoln, Maine; pictured right), Charlotte Bednarz (Westport, Mass.) and Jocelyn Bell (Holden, Maine), return to the courts this season. Blessard was selected to the 2016 All-NEAC East first team singles squad, while Blessard and Charlotte were selected for second team doubles. Bell was selected to the 2016 Al-NEAC East Sportsmanship team. Husson will look for a return trip to the Championship match in 2017 and start the season on September 9, hosting Thomas. 


3. Johnson (9-5, 5-2 NEAC East) will be led by head coach Michele Whitmore, who enters her ninth year at the helm. Seniors Nicole Monick (Bennington, Vt.; pictured right), Kali Covell (Hartford, Vt.), Ashley Fogg (White River Junction, Vt.) and Mikayla Messier (Sheldon, Vt.) and sophomore Sam Kershner (Essex, Vt.) return for the veteran Badger group. The squad is looking for another competitive season and a third-consecutive trip to the conference tournament. Johnson begins the season on September 1 at Castleton. 



4. Castleton (7-8, 4-3 NEAC East) enters the 2017 season under the direction of ninth-year head coach Rob Purdy after leading the squad to another appearance in the NEAC East Women's Tennis Championship a season ago. The Spartans will be led by Megan Nadler (Rutland, Vt.; pictured right) and Kirsten Kruk (Clifton Park, N.Y.). Nadler, now entering her sophomore campaign, led the Spartans last season at No. 2 singles, collecting 17 wins between singles and doubles action. Castleton looks to reach the 10-win mark for the first time since 2015, when it opens action versus Johnson on September 1


5. MCLA (6-5, 4-3 NEAC East) will head in a new direction under first-year head coach Stephen Bryant. The Trailblazers fell just shy of postseason play a year ago, but return All NAC performer Mariza Sfakianaki (Williamstown, Mass.; pictured right). MCLA will begin the season on September 7 against Worcester State and then take on defending champion Colby-Sawyer in the conference opener just two days later.



6. Thomas (3-8, 2-5 NEAC East) will enter the 2017 season with a new look as second-year head coach Eddie Mathews has one returning player in addition to the incoming class. Senior Olivia Mora (Surry, Maine; pictured right) looks to lead the Terriers after a 9-2 singles record last season at the No. 2 flight and first team all-conference in singles. New additions to the Terriers this season are sophomore Irune Arruti Moreno (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain), Sadie Farrand (Norridgewock, Maine), and Alexis Raymond (Dover Foxcroft, Maine). The Terriers will begin their season on Friday, September 1, as they travel to the University of Southern Maine. 


7. Lyndon (0-12, 0-7 NEAC East) will be under the guidance of head coach Laura Laramee, who enters her fifth season. The team will look to build a strong foundation after graduating three seniors a season ago. Nichole Jones (Lisbon Falls, Maine; pictured right) will be looked upon to lead the 2017 Hornets' squad as the only key returning senior. Newcomers include Rachel Scholfield (Mahopac, N.Y.) and Melissa Calabro (Canaan, Conn.). Lyndon will open the season at Plymouth State on Friday, September 1


8. Green Mountain (0-18, 0-7 NEAC East) enters the 2017 season with Ted Panasci at the helm of the Eagles' program in his fourth season. Paige Vlahos (Little Silver, N.J.) returns to lead the team in her senior season after playing at the team's number two singles position. Sophomores Jannelle O'Connell (Colrain, Mass.; pictured right) and Claire Chapman (Litchfield, Conn.) round out the top three spots for Green Mountain. The Eagles will look to build on its late season success in 2016 as it opens the year on the road on September 2 against Sage.