Penn State Abington Finishes First in 2019 NEAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll

Penn State Abington Finishes First in 2019 NEAC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – In a tight race for the top spot, Penn State Abington emerged with a No. 1 ranking in the 2019 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Women’s Tennis Preseason Poll.

After finishing as the NEAC Runner-Up at the 2018 conference tournament, Penn State Abington received three first-place votes and 15 points to sit atop the preseason rankings. The Nittany Lions will be led by Stephanie Jin (Blue Bell, Pa.) at No. 1 singles after she posted a 10-4 record in singles play last season. Jin earned NEAC All-Conference First Team honors at No. 2 doubles, as well as a Third Team nod at No. 1 singles at the NEAC Championships last April. Sophomore Michelle Mirjani (Great Neck, N.Y.) will serve as a team captain this spring and play at No. 2 singles to give Penn State Abington a strong top two. The Nittany Lions will gear up for conference play with non-league matches against Rutgers University-Camden, Delaware Valley University and King’s College.

Defending conference champion Penn State Berks is listed at No. 2 in the coaches’ poll with 13 points and one first-place vote. NEAC Rookie of the Year Alyssa Miller (Delta, Pa.) returns after a strong showing at last year’s championship where she earned All-NEAC Second Team accolades at No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles. After losing some key members from last season’s team, first-year head coach Sue McDonough will lean on newcomers Lexi Vidal (Mohnton, Pa.) and Nicole Meek (Cochranville, Pa.) to fill some of the top flight positions. The Nittany Lions’ non-conference spring schedule includes matches against Otterbein University, DeSales University and Misericordia University.

With the final first-place vote and 11 total points, Lancaster Bible ranks third in the preseason poll. The Chargers will come into the spring season led by two-time NEAC Player of the Year Greta Strunk (Lebanon, Pa.). In addition to her standout performances at the conference championships, Strunk posted a 10-2 mark at No. 1 singles last season. Sarah Wetzel (Reading, Pa.) and Michaela Dearborn (Maytown, Pa.) are also expected to be top returners for Lancaster Bible after the pair earned All-Conference Third Team honors last year. Head Coach Darren Rowles is in his second season with the Chargers and will prepare his squad with non-conference opponents that include Stevenson, Lycoming and Mount Aloysius.

Penn College ranked fourth with six points while the College of Saint Elizabeth is in the final spot with five points. Both teams will be looking to rebound in 2019 and build upon the experience gained in the fall season to move up the NEAC standings.

The full 2018-19 NEAC women’s tennis preseason rankings can be found below:

Rank Institution (First-Place Votes) Total Points
1. Penn State Abington (3) 15
2. Penn State Berks (1) 13
3. Lancaster Bible (1) 11
4. Penn College 6
5. College of Saint Elizabeth 5

 

 

 

 

 

The preseason poll rankings were conducted by the NEAC women’s tennis coaches, with each coach ranking out all teams but their own using a staggered points system (four points for a first-place vote, three points for second place, etc.). The complete 2018-19 NEAC women’s tennis schedule is available on the NEAC website.   

********************************************************************************************************************************************

The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.