BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The Bridgewater State University Bears have been picked to finish in third place in the Little East Conference (LEC) women's tennis standings for the 2017 season. The Little East Women's Tennis Preseason Poll was released this week by LEC Assistant Commissioner, Taylor Alward.
In a vote of the league's nine head coaches, Bridgewater State tallied 54 points as the defending champion Bears finished behind Rhode Island College (57 pts.) and preseason favorite UMass Dartmouth (58 pts.) in the poll. All three teams garnered three first place votes each.
Under the guidance of second-year head coach David Purpura, the BSU women's tennis team will open the 2017 campaign on the road against non-conference foe Endicott College on Monday, September 4th at noon.
The Bears then open Little East play on Saturday, September 9th at home versus UMass Boston. The match is slated for a noontime start at the Rosen Memorial Tennis Courts on the BSU campus.
Last season, Coach Purpura's squad posted an overall record of 12-6 and finished tied for first in the Little East standings with a 7-1 conference mark. Seeded first in the Little East Tournament, the Bears earned a 5-2 victory over #5 Worcester State University in the semifinals before capturing the conference title with a nail-biting 5-4 win over second-seeded Rhode Island College in the tournament championship match. With the win, the Bears advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the fifth time in program history.
Coach Purpura returns all six starters from the 2016 team including All-Little East selections, seniors Bojana Roman (Somerset, Mass.) and Allison Scagnelli (Sutton, Mass.). Also returning from last year's lineup are seniors Alisha Silva (Taunton, Mass.) and Amanda Strickland (Plymouth, Mass.), junior Rachel Tarantino (Mansfield, Mass.) and sophomore Angelique Gray (Osterville, Mass.).
|2017 Little East Women's Tennis Preseason Poll|
|(1st Place Votes in Parentheses)|
|1.||UMass Dartmouth||58 Pts. (3)|
|2.||Rhode Island College||57 Pts. (3)|
|3.||Bridgewater State||54 Pts. (3)|
|4.||Worcester State||38 Pts.|
|5.||UMass Boston||33 Pts.|
|Plymouth State||33 Pts.|
|7.||Western Connecticut||23 Pts.|
|8.||Salem State||18 Pts.|
|9.||Southern Maine||9 Pts.|