Lake Forest College was atop the rankings in the 2019 Midwest Conference Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released on Monday.
Voting is done by the MWC head women's tennis coaches. Each coach votes for the other nine schools in the league in order of predicted finish. Points are assigned in reverse order of voting (nine points for first, eight for second, etc.). Coaches may not vote for their own teams.
Lake Forest captured the fourth conference title in program history in 2018 and enters this fall as a slight favorite to repeat. The team's 69 points were just one more than Grinnell College's total and the Foresters had five first-place votes to the Pioneers' four. St. Norbert College and Cornell College tied for third in the poll with 52 points, 13 more than fifth-place Ripon College. Lake Forest, Grinnell, St. Norbert, and Cornell have made up the four-team MWC Tournament field each of the last three seasons.
The Foresters return all but one player from last year's lineup, including junior Julie Lord, who staked her claim as the top player in the league with titles at #1 singles and #1 doubles at the MWC Individual Tournaments last fall. Senior Leeza Bodnar was her partner in doubles and the league's runner-up at #3 singles while juniors Emma Wang and Tyranny Miller and sophomore Katie Wegrecki added championships at #4, #5, and #6, respectively. Miller also came out on top at #2 doubles and the #3 tandem of Wang and junior Grace Gould also won the title. The addition of current sophomore Tebatso Duba in the spring strengthened the lineup and helped Lake Forest make the first NCAA Division III Tournament appearance in program history.
Under fourth-year head coach Raquel Vescovi, Lake Forest will open the 2019-20 season by hosting Illinois Institute of Technology and Edgewood College on Saturday, August 31. The Foresters will begin their title defense the following weekend and take on each of the other nine schools in the league over the next 30 days. The team will also compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Tournament in Kalamazoo, Michigan, September 20-22, and will close out the 2019 portion of the schedule at the MWC Individual Tournaments October 19-20 at the Nielsen Tennis Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
The top four teams in the conference will qualify for the MWC Team Tournament, which will be also played in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 23. The Foresters have qualified for the event each of the last 10 seasons and have reached the final six times in that span.
|PLACE||TEAM (First Place Votes)||POINTS|
|1||Lake Forest College (5)||69|
|2||Grinnell College (4)||68|
|3t||St. Norbert College