August 29, 2018

Husson Selected to Win the 2018 Women's Tennis Title

Husson University was selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2018 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Tennis Championship. The Eagles received all five first-place votes in the coaches' poll for a total of 30 points.

Northern Vermont-Johnson took second with 21 points, while Lesley University claimed third with 15 points. Rounding out the poll were Thomas College and Northern Vermont-Lyndon tied at fourth with 9 points.

Voting for the preseason poll was conducted among the league's head women's tennis coaches.

2018 NAC Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll



With several changes in conference membership, the 2018 championship field is wide open. In the 2017 NAC Championship, Colby-Sawyer beat MCLA (9-0) and Husson defeated Castleton (6-2) in semifinal matches. Later that same day, Colby Sawyer needed just 5 matches to claim the NAC title (5-0) over Husson and secure a trip to the NCAA spring championship. The Chargers defeated Johnson & Wales (RI) in the first round (5-0) to advance to the second round for the third consecutive season, where they fell to No. 11 MIT (5-0).

All five NAC women's tennis teams kick off their fall seasons and the quest for the 2018 NAC Title over the course of the next week. The top four teams in the regular season conference standings will qualify for the NAC Championship Tournament, which is scheduled for Saturday, October 6, at The Berkshire West Athletic Club in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The semifinal round will begin in the morning, with the winners meeting in the championship an hour after the opening matches are complete. The fall champion will earn a slot in the NCAA championships conducted in the spring.

Click HERE to view the 2018 NAC Women's Tennis composite schedule.

2018 NAC Women's Tennis Previews

For more information on each team, click the school name to be directed to the women's tennis section of each school's website.

1. Husson (7-5, 5-2 NAC)
Husson will be led by fourth-year head coach Josh Warren, who returns three from last year's NAC runner-up squad. Eagles Meredith Blessard (Lincoln, Maine), Marisa Brown (Lincoln, R.I.) and Jocelyn Bell (Holden, Maine) return to the courts this season. Blessard was selected to the 2017 All-NAC second team singles squad and looks to lead the Eagles to a third straight return trip to the Championship match in 2018. The team opens play on September 8 against Lesley in North Adams, Mass.



2. Northern Vermont-Johnson (10-8, 3-4 NAC) Head Coach Michele Whitmore returns for her ninth year at Johnson. Key returners for the Badgers include third-year players Grace Page (Bennington, Vt.), Mikayla Messier (Sheldon, Vt.), and Sam Kershner (Essex Junction, Vt.). The Badgers had five players graduate in 2017-2018 and welcome exciting new players Libby Chitambar (Newport, Vt.) and Rebecca Simon (New Prague, Minn.) to the mix. NVU-Johnson will host Western New England University on September 5 to kick of the 2018 season.



3. Lesley University (5-6) New to the NAC in 2018, the Lynx return top performers senior Theresa Pereira (Hopedale, Mass.), senior Jessica Russo (Watertown, Mass.), and Junior Maddie Abbott (Portland, Maine). Pereira was in the No.1 doubles spot with lone graduate Caroline Kiddie, while Russo and Abbott paired up for the No. 2 position. The Lynx will look to those three veterans to lead the squad during the transition of a new Head Coach. Lesley opens at Rhode Island College on August 31.



T4. Northern Vermont-Lyndon (1-17, 1-6 NAC) NVU-Lyndon will be led by 6th year head coach Laura Laramee. The Hornets have four returnees in senior Melissa Calabro (New Canaan, Conn.), juniors Faibe Achinda (Hinesburg, Vt.) and Roze Yar (Winooski, Vt.), and sophomore Shanice Facey (Barre, Vt.). Five newcomers round out the roster. Lyndon looks to improve on last season and break into the championship picture. The Hornets open the season at in-state rival Castleton on September 1.


T4. Thomas (2-17, 2-5 NAC) Head Coach Rob Disch enters his first year leading the program. The Terriers enter the season with a crop of newcomers looking to build a solid foundation for the future of the program. Matches get underway August 31 when the Terriers host Southern Maine.