Coaches predict St. Scholastica will repeat as women's tennis champs
The College of St. Scholastica, who has won every Upper Midwest Athletic Conference women's tennis championship since 1997, has been predicted by the league's coaches to win the UMAC title yet again in 2009. The Saints, who swept the conference schedule with an 8-0 record in 2008, earned 25 points and five-first place votes in the pre-season poll. St. Scholastica returns nine of its 12 letter winners to the court from a year ago, including UMAC Player of the Year in junior Paula Beckermann.
Northwestern College followed St. Scholastica with 21 points to place second in the poll. The Eagles and their three returning starters from the 2008 season are led by senior UMAC All-Conference player Wendy Miller.
Martin Luther College took third place in the pre-season poll with 15 points. The Knights will be a young squad this year, as six freshmen join three sophomores who saw significant court time in 2008.
Martin Luther edged Bethany Lutheran College in the coaches' predictions, as the Vikings came in only two points behind with 13 points.
Rounding out the final two teams in the pre-season coaches' poll was the University of Minnesota, Morris and North Central University. The Rams from North Central enter the UMAC as an associate member in 2009.
After the conference regular season, all six teams will come together for the UMAC conference tournament, which will be held on May 1-2, 2009 at the Baseline Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
25 Points - College of St. Scholastica (5 first place votes)
21 Points - Northwestern College (1 first place vote)
15 Points - Martin Luther College
13 Points - Bethany Lutheran College
9 Points - University of Minnesota, Morris
7 Points - North Central University