Husson Eagles Top 2019 NAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll


The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) women's tennis coaches gave the nod to Husson as the preseason favorite in the NAC East Division. The Eagles received six first-place votes and 48 points, ahead of second-place Lesley University with 43 points and the remaining first-place vote.

Northern Vermont-Johnson tallied 30 points and sister-school Northern Vermont-Lyndon totaled 24 points for third and fourth place, respectively. SUNY Delhi landed in fifth (22 points), MCLA in sixth (16 points), and Thomas College finished in seventh place (13).

Head coaches vote in the preseason poll.

Husson returns to the courts after an undefeated 2018 conference season that stretched into the post season. The Eagles earned the top-seed for the championship tournament and cruised to the title with a 5-0 semifinal match win over fourth-seeded NVU-Lyndon, and a 5-0 championship victory over #2 Lesley. Lesley reached the championship match by defeating #3 NVU-Johnson, 5-1, in the semifinal round.

The NAC has partnered with the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) in the sports of women's tennis several times since the 2010 season. The NEAC institutions will compete as associate members of the NAC in 2019-2020, with the conferences divided into an East (NAC) and West (NEAC) Division. Each division holds a championship and the two divisional champions meet to determine the NAC conference champion. The winner of the NAC (East Division) Divisional Championship will face the NEAC (West Division) Divisional Champion in a crossover championship match.

The top four teams in regular season standings will qualify for the 2019 East Division championship tournament to be held on Sunday, October 6, at the Woburn Racquet Club in Woburn, Massachusetts. The first and fourth seeds, and second and third seeds, will face-off in semifinal matches in the morning. The two semifinal victors will compete for the East Division Championship later that afternoon. The East Division Champions will compete against the West Division (NEAC) champions in the spring for the NAC Championship title and a berth to the 2020 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship in May.

Click the school names below to visit team pages. Read on for team previews.

View the 2019 NAC Women's Tennis composite schedule.

Follow the 2019-20 NAC Women's Tennis Championship.

Explore the NAC Women's Tennis archives.



Women's Tennis Preview

1. HUSSON - 48 pts. (6 first-place votes)

Posting their winningest season in program history, Husson (10-2, 4-0 NAC) cruised through the 2018 season undefeated and earned their first NAC Championship victory and NCAA Tournament berth. The Eagles will be led by 2018 NAC Coach of the Year Josh Warren for his fifth season. Coach Warren welcomes back several top-performers including the 2018 NAC Rookie of the Year, Ashley Matlock (Caribou, Maine), and fellow classmate Natalie Tilton (Lincoln, Maine) who joined Matlock on both the All-NAC First Team Singles and First Team Doubles lists. Three newcomers join the 2019 squad, with the first match set for August 31st at home against UMass Boston.


2. LESLEY - 43 pts.  (1 first place votes)

Last season, the Lynx finished 3-1 in the NAC (5-8 overall) and ascended to the conference championship match after earning the #2 seed for the tournament. Second-year head coach Kristen Gerety returns the 2018 undefeated Player of the Year in Maddie Abbott (Portland, Maine), as well as contributors Mary Pulling (Whitman Hanson, Mass.) and Annie Dai (Milton, Mass.). Lesley also welcomes in six new squad members and will start the season at home against Albertus Magnus on September 1.


3. NVU-JOHNSON -  30 pts.

Michele Whitmore enters her eleventh season at the helm of the NVU-Johnson women's tennis program after an impressive 2018 season that culminated in a NAC championship semifinal appearance. The Badgers (4-8, 2-2 NAC) return five players from the 2018 campaign, including First Team All-Conference Singles player Grace Page (Bennington, Vt.). With three new faces to the Badgers roster, the team aims to make an impact in NAC play. They start the 2019 season at home against Western New England on September 1.


4. NVU-LYNDON -  24 pts.

Laura Laramee returns for her eighth season leading the Hornets. NVU-Lyndon (2-9, 1-3 NAC) is poised to make a return appearance in the NAC playoffs after reaching the postseason in 2018 for the first time in five years. The Hornets have six returning players, led by their #1 and #2 a year ago, seniors Savannah Jackson (Barre, Vt.) and Faibe Achinda (Hinesburg, Vt.). Six promising newcomers will add depth to the Hornet roster. Their first match is at home against Castleton on August 31.


5. SUNY DELHI -  22 pts.

Mark Birman ascends to the head coaching role for SUNY Delhi after serving as an assistant coach last year. New to the NAC in 2019, the Broncos (2-10) have set their sights on disrupting the conference. Coach Birman welcomes back three returning players, Jessica Biller (Webster, N.Y.), Mackenzie Landman (Barneveld, N.Y.), and Sarah Krzyston (Delhi, N.Y.) to lead the way. The Broncos begin the 2019 season on September 5, at home against Hartwick.


6. MCLA - 16 pts.

MCLA  resumes their women's tennis program after a one year hiatus. Head Coach Derek Shell begins his first season as the head coach, although he led the mixed-gender program a year ago. MCLA returns Briana Higgins (Tewksbury, Mass.) and Mackenna Jordan (Lebanon, Conn.), who competed during the men's tennis season last year. The Trailblazers season opener is at home on August 31 against Sage.


7. THOMAS -  13 pts.

Rob Disch enters his second year coaching the Thomas (0-11, 0-4) women's tennis team. He brings back a host of returners from last year's squad, including Samantha Mercier (Berlin, N.H.), Breanna Whitmarsh (Puyallup, Wash.), Cassidy Hamm (Pittsfield, Maine), Makayla Guerette (Pittsfield, Maine) and Abigail Stevens (Detroit, Maine). Newcomers Alexis Nestor (Gardiner, Maine), Magan Williams (Oakland, Maine) and Taylor Davis (Lebanon, Maine) will bolster the Thomas lineup. Coach Disch is looking forward to seeing the improvement and development of the young team that opens the 2019 campaign on the road at the University of Southern Maine on August 30.