LANCASTER, Pa. – The Ursinus College women's tennis team was picked ninth in the Centennial Conference preseason poll.
Johns Hopkins was the unanimous choice of the league's coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams. The Blue Jays compiled 10 first-place votes and 100 total points, with Swarthmore taking runner-up honors with 90 points and the lone remaining first-place vote. Haverford (81), Franklin & Marshall (71), and Washington College (63) rounded out the projected playoff field, followed by Dickinson (51), Gettysburg (44), Bryn Mawr (39), Ursinus (33), Muhlenberg (21), and McDaniel (12).
After graduating three of the four winningest players in program history, head coach Pete Smith and the Bears look to reload with a young roster half made up of first-year players and devoid of a senior.
After missing the majority of last season due to injury, junior captain Caitlyn Sorelle is back and set to assume the top spot on the ladder. Sorelle racked up 29 combined wins as a freshman, including a 13-5 mark at number two singles.
A trio of newcomers make up the next three spots behind Sorelle. Maddie Russell is expected to take over at number two singles, with Brenna Trkula playing at three and Spring-Ford product Jessica Leach at four.
Junior Summer Burkholder, sophomores Madisen Harvey and Maddie Sorebo, and rookie Cara Freedman will provide depth at the back end of the lineup. Burkholder and Harvey each won seven singles matches a year ago, with three conference victories to their names, and Sorebo registered four wins out of the number six slot. Harvey was 8-8 at second doubles, with Burkholder and Sorebo competing together 13 times on the third court.
"I am really excited to be coaching this group," Smith said. "We are very young but there are some very good building blocks here. The freshmen are ahead of where I thought they would be. We have a great captain in Caitlyn and I think we can really surprise some people this year."
The Bears, who lost 5-4 to Rutgers-Camden in October, resume their campaign with a match against Arcadia on February 23 before heading to Florida for their annual spring trip.